Here's a statement from Mayor A C Wharton that was mailed to the media last night and posted on the mayor's Facebook page:
“Given the events that transpired today in the Personnel, Intergovernmental & Annexation Committee of the Memphis City Council, it is necessary to clarify my position on the issue of the non-discrimination ordinance.
“Allow me to be clear: throughout my career in public service, most recently as Shelby County Mayor when this same issue was under discussion by the County Commission, I have made it clear that I believe governments should focus on merit and merit alone in their hiring and purchasing policies. My vision is for Memphis to be a city of choice for all people, which means that our long-term economic strength will require all individuals, regardless of their personal creeds or viewpoints, to work together toward a shared vision of prosperity.
“Over the past several weeks, I have watched with great interest to see what direction the City Council will take. This discussion originated with them and will conclude with them. I will abide by my duty to support whatever actions they take. My hope is that they proceed in a way that aligns with our values of inclusiveness and non-discrimination.
“My beliefs or views on the subject have been clear and consistent throughout my entire life. I will not permit them to be mischaracterized by any group, individual, or elected body who seek a convenient excuse for not confronting the issue now that it is at hand.”