NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On Tuesday night, Metro Council members passed a controversial non-discrimination ordinance on its final reading.
"I think this is a great move for Nashville and it's a great step to show we believe in equality," said Erica Gilmore, one of the co-sponsors of the bill.
The measure would require any contractors doing business with the city to pledge not to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Those contractors already agree not to discriminate against federally protected classes.
After months of debate, the vote in council chambers was 21 to 15. But that vote did not come without another round of debate. Many council members voiced their reasons for voting against the bill.
"We are sending a clear message to those who do business with this city that we don't want you, we don't want you product, we don't want your service if you don't adopt our moral standards," said Councilman Phil Claiborne.
"If you support the constitution, you can not support this ordinance," according to Councilman Jim Hodge.
Many of the opposing members said the bill would hurt the city and send the wrong message to the business community.
"You better come in here and agree with this particular item, otherwise we don't want you and I don't think we want to send that," explained Councilman Jim Goto.
Before the bill can become law, Mayor Karl Dean must sign it. He has said in the past if the bill comes across his desk, he will put his signature on it.