by Caleb Hannan
There have been eight documented claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation since 2005 and none of them came from Metro employees, according to data from the Metro Human Relations Commission. Currently, a bill filed by at-large Councilwoman Megan Barry and co-sponsored by nine other Council members would make it unlawful to discriminate against a Metro worker based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. One of the primary reasons why a Council nondiscrimination ordinance failed in 2003 was the opposition's assertion there wasn't enough evidence of discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered workers. So does the lack of claims call into question the need for such a bill?Let's unpack this for a second. No Metro government employees have filed discrimination claims based on sexual orientation in the past four years. What does that prove? That no Metro employees are going to say they were discriminated against if there's not a law to protect them. That's it. It doesn't say anything about the need for the bill in the first place. And just to be clear, we're not busting on Nate Rau or the City Paper. Had we block-quoted the entire article, you would've seen quotes from Chris Sanders at the Tennessee Equality Project saying pretty much the same thing.This is just a pre-emptive strike against any council members who use "statistics" like these as a reason not to have the bill in the first place. Just because no Metro employees have filed sexual discrimination claims doesn't mean there's no sexual discrimination in Metro government. It just means that, duh, there's no law on the books to protect them in the first place. After all, why would you jump when you know you don't have a parachute?