Bibb Commission approves LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance

The Macon-Bibb Commission approved a resolution to add gender identity and sexual orientation to their anti-discrimination employment guidelines / Brittany Collins (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- The Macon-Bibb Commission voted to approve an anti-discrimination ordinance on Tuesday.

The resolution adds gender identity and sexual orientation to anti-discrimination employment guidelines.

Before the vote, the guidelines only covered sex, race, religion, national origin and political affiliation.

The Operations and Finance Committee approved the motion last Tuesday.

"I thought about making the sign and I can't believe we're still having to fight and protest and having this conversation," said resident Shelly Price. "It seems so very common sense to me."

Local pastor Dr. Tim McCoy urged the commission to vote no to the ordinance.

"It's not good for our children," McCoy said. "It's not good for the community. It's not good for people of faith and it dishonors God."

Rector Ben Wells said it's important to love.

"Discrimination goes against what we believe the scripture tells us in our journey with it," Wells said.

Commissioners Mallory Jones, Scotty Shepherd and Joe Allen voted against the amendment.

Commissioners Elaine Lucas, Virgil Watkins, Burt Bivins, Larry Schlesinger and Al Tillman voted in favor of it.

Lucas said she voted yes because she doesn't want anyone to discriminate against her children and grandchildren. Shepherd said he voted no because there is no record of any LGBT employee being discriminated against.

"Nothing is going to change," Jones said. "There's no discrimination now against gender identity and sexual orientation. The people we have in place don't discriminate when hiring. We broadcast that policy."

He thinks passing the ordinance will be come a bigger problem.

"If in fact they come back with the bathroom issue, it's coming, then my concern is someone will go in the women's bathroom," Jones said.

The ordinance requires a second passing in two weeks but Jones said he doesn't expect the votes to change.

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