Knoxville Advances Non-Discrimination Protections Despite State Prohibition

Last year, Tennessee lawmakers passed the “Special Access to Discriminate” Act, prohibiting municipalities from extending non-discrimination protections beyond what the state already protects. The law targeted protections that Nashville had passed, and now Knoxville is also planning to buck the provision with an LGBT-inclusive ordinance of its own. Last night, the Knoxville City Council voted unanimously, and without discussion, to add sexual orientation and gender identity to its employment protections. The ordinance will become law after it passes a second reading on May 1, but it’s unclear if it will be enforceable under the SAD Act.