Senate rejects rollback of Tenn discrimination law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Senate panel has rejected efforts to roll back a bill barring local governments from enacting stricter anti-discrimination standards than those held by the state.

The State and Local Government committee on Tuesday voted 6-2 against the bill sponsored by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis.

Gov. Bill Haslam last year signed into law a measure voiding a Nashville ordinance that barred companies that discriminate against gays and lesbians from doing business with the city.

Several large employers opposed the law, including FedEx, AT&T, Whirlpool, Comcast and Nissan.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said his understanding of the state constitution is that nothing prevents the Legislature from setting guidelines for local governments.

Kyle responded that it wasn't constitutional question, but one of stopping "bad policy."


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