Non-Discrimination Ordinance Fails

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The proposed non-discrimination ordinance protecting LGBT city workers is effectively dead for at least six months after the item failed on its second reading today at the Memphis City Council meeting.

The non-discrimination ordinance was the only item on the consent agenda, which typically contains several items on their first and second readings. The consent agenda failed to gain the necessary seven votes needed for passage.

This means the ordinance will not get a third reading, despite the fact that the city council approved a resolution at their last meeting for a city employment discrimination study to be conducted by the city's human resources department.

When an item fails, it cannot be brought back for six months. Tennessee Equality Project's Jonathan Cole said "we're not going anywhere." The equal rights organization will attempt to bring the non-discrimination ordinance back at a later date.

At the last council meeting on November 9th, the ordinance passed its first reading on the consent agenda with the necessary seven votes. It was council chairman Harold Collins' vote that made the difference this time. Collins voted to approve the consent agenda containing the ordinance at the last meeting, but he voted against the consent agenda at today's meeting.

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