Nashville approves gay protection proposal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The city of Nashville has passed an anti-discrimination ordinance that would protect gays and lesbians who work for companies that contract with the city.

The Tennessean reports that the vote passed by the thinnest of margins Tuesday, as opponents were arguing that city contractors shouldn't be forced to compromise their moral and religious values.

A number of prominent religious leaders, including Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, voiced opposition to the measure early on, asking the council, in a letter, to vote against it.

The law requires that firms doing business with the city not discriminate against employees because of sexual orientation or gender identity. Religious institutions are exempt from it.

The measure is an extension of Nashville's law that protects city workers from discrimination.

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(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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