A Bibb County committee supported changing the county charter to say Bibb will not discriminate against gay or transgender people. Currently, the charter says Bibb County will not discriminate in hiring, based on sex, race, religion, national origin, age and political affiliation.
The pastor of Macon's Ingleside Baptist Church, Tim McCoy, spoke up at Tuesday's commission meeting.
“There may be unintended consequences from this law,” says McCoy. He says he wanted to speak up against a change in the county ordinance, Not as a pastor, but as a citizen, "Those like me who hold traditional Judeo-Christian values related to marriage,” says McCoy.
Right now, the County charter says Bibb cannot prevent someone from getting hired or promoted because of sex, race, religion, national origin, age and political affiliation. By a four to one vote, a county committee supported changing that to a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
“I think the unintended consequence might be that it will teach that the Judeo-Christian worldview is not only false but discriminatory,” says McCoy.
Although McCoy wants the county law to stay the way it is, others did not.
“I’m very appreciative the older I get for age being included in the non-discrimination policy,” says Macon resident Jake Petermann. He spoke up in support of the change.
“But there’s something about me that should be included as well, and that’s that I am a transgender man,” says Petermann. He and his wife say the change could help make people feel more comfortable moving to Macon and living here.
“They may be different from other people, but they are still welcomed and protected in their community as citizens,” says Petermann. He says people in the LGBT community need this protection.
This ordinance still needs approval from the full commission next Tuesday’s meeting.
A Macon-Bibb County commission committee voted Tuesday on an amendment to include sexual orientation in the county's anti discrimination policy.
The committee voted 4-1 to include "sexual orientation and gender identity" to the county's policy on hiring, promotions, and appointments.
Commissioner Scotty Shepard is the only commissioner who voted "no," saying what's currently on the books is sufficient.
The proposed amendment will have to go before the full commission for a vote.
Jake Petermann, a transgender man, spoke at the commissioner's meeting voicing his support for the proposed amendment.
"Why should I not be afforded the same protections ... because of how I was born?" he said.
Tim McCoy, pastor of Ingleside Baptist Church, spoke in opposition of the ordinance. "Is it really needed?" he asked. He said there are no examples of where such discriminations occurred nationally.
McCoy said he was speaking to the commissioners as a citizen and not as pastor of his church.