While we are waiting for reports about what happened today at the Shelby County Commission, we can tell you about one issue that failed to pass. The resolution would clarify the county charter to say that you can't discriminate against people because of their gender identity or their sexual orientation. Considering the fact that it is not currently legal to hire or fire people based on those reasons, this seemed like a huge waste of time but it would be another show for the public and to those more sensitive to these issues that could be used for campaigns for future office holders to say they had done something even though all they had done was pass a stupid resolution. Just so you know, resolutions have no teeth, they are suggestions, they are not enforceable like ordinances are...but hey... who is holding their elected officials accountable? If you look at the numbers from the last primary in Tn, 8% of registered voters voted. 8% gave us Lamar Alexander, but that's another story for another post.
Anyways, Action News 5 had this to say about this vote...
"Shelby County commissioners failed a resolution Monday that would have amended and clarified the county's personnel policy regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees.
The commission voted six to four to fail the measure. The resolution passed in the commission committee last week, but in the full commission it would have needed seven votes to pass.
The resolution was sponsored by commissioners Walter Bailey and Steve Mulroy. Commissioner Heidi Shaffer challenged the resolution saying it was not necessary.
Supporters said the language in the resolution would have made it specifically clear LGBT county employees are protected from discrimination."
That last sentence is key. Just because the charter does not clarify (this is specifically for you Commissioner Mulroy) that it is illegal to discriminate against people for gender identity/sexual orientation, does not mean that it is legal to do so. There are a whole lot of classifications that need to be included in this clarification if this is the case (Commissioner Mulroy), and there might not be any end to those clarifications. This was nothing more than a solution looking for a problem that doesn't exist. It's what government does best, fix something when it ain't broke.
Kudos to those commissioners who voted this down.
We will have more updates to Monday's commission meeting as we get them in....