Anti-discrimination vote headed to Bibb Commission

Anti-discrimination vote headed to commission

Bibb commissioners will meet Tuesday to vote on an ordinance that would prevent the county from not hiring or promoting someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

13WMAZ’s Mary Grace Shaw reached out to the nine commissioners to see how they plan on voting Tuesday.

Of the seven she talked to, Gary Bechtel, Elaine Lucas, Laurence Schlesinger and Al Tillman say they are voting yes. Mallory Jones, Scotty Shepherd and Joe Allen say they plan to vote no.

Allen says he is voting no because he thinks the charter is fine the way it is.  

In Bibb County people's sex, race, religion, national origin, age and political affiliation are all protected under the county charter when it comes to getting hired or promoted at a county job.

“I think everything fine with the way we're dealing right now. We don’t have to add things to what we already have in place,” says Allen. He says he plans to vote no on an ordinance that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to that list. Allen says the county treats the LGBT community the same as everyone else.

“We don’t hire someone because they’re gay or transgender. We hire individuals on the job that they can do,” says Allen. He says changing the charter could open a can of worms.

“[First] the bathrooms and now the hiring so it’s going to continue, and if it’s not this it’s going to be something else,” says Allen.

However, for Bentley Hudgins trusting the county to act on good faith is not enough.

“I understand that people feel like they have faith in people to judge people on their character or their merit, but that’s not their concern because it doesn't apply to them,” says Hudgins. He says this ordinance serves as a matter of legal protection for those in the LGBT community like himself.
“It’s a lot harder for your complaint to be validated or verified and for it to be moved on,” says Hudgins. He says if people find themselves not being treated properly because they are gay or transgender, right now the charter technically does not protect them.

“And if that's not part of the ordinance, then you can’t technically use that,” says Hudgins.

Since this ordinance deals with changing the charter, it will have to go through two rounds of votes. The one Tuesday night and then at the next full commission meeting on May 2nd.

 


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