Q and A on the Chattanooga Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Question:  Aren't LGBT people already protected by federal and/or state law?

Answer:  No, the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression" are not found in federal employment law.  Look up the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Tennessee Human Rights Act, and you will not find those words included in the text. 

Question:  How does the proposed ordinance apply to the private sector?

Answer:  It doesn't, except that passage will show Chattanooga is a welcoming city and that will attract even more talented people to the area.  The ordinance itself only covers city government jobs.

Question:  Have other local governments in Tennessee passed similar ordinances?

Answer:  Yes.  Metro Nashville, the City of Knoxville, the City of Memphis, and Knox County have passed similar ordinances.

Question:  What about restrooms?  Won't people feel uncomfortable?

Answer:  The key issue with restrooms is safety.  This year OSHA has started to recommend that employers allow people to use the restroom that matches their gender identity.  A transgender woman, for example, faces the risk of being attacked in a men's restroom and that is an unacceptable risk.  Transgender people enter the restroom that matches their gender identity in order to be safe and use the restroom, not harass others. 

Question:  Where can I find the text of the proposed ordinance.

Answer:  You can find it at this link.

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