It’s not just the ridiculous “Don’t Say Gay” Bill in Tennessee, which is apparently fighting tooth and nail to outdo Oklahoma in the “America’s Dumbest State” contest.  There’s another bill, sponsored by “small government social conservatives,” which seeks to take away the right of individual towns to pass anti-discrimination ordinances that [horrors!] include LGBT people:

A proposal that would prohibit local governments from creating anti-discrimination laws that are stricter than the state’s is headed for a full Senate vote after passing a Senate panel on Monday.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet was approved 6-3 in the Senate State and Local Government Committee. The companion bill passed the House 73-24 last month.

The proposal would void a Nashville ordinance barring companies that discriminate against gays and lesbians from doing business with the city.


The Nashville ordinance prohibits companies that discriminate because of sexual orientation or gender identity from receiving city contracts. It does not apply to local governments’ hiring policies for their own workers.

You read that correctly. The city of Nashville made the very grown-up decision to pass an ordinance stating that city contractors may not discriminate against LGBT people, and, as they so often do, wingnut hordes lost their marbles and advanced a very “big government” bill to make sure Tennessee is one of the first places that comes to mind when someone says the words “rancid backwater.”

It should, of course, be noted that this issue was settled in Romer v. Evans in 1996, and that the fact that wingnut Mae Beavers and her friends are wasting the state’s time on this is a dereliction of their duties as public officials.

[h/t Joe]