Macon-Bibb commissioner explains decision against anti-discrimination ordinance
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb Commissioner Joe Allen says he disagrees with the commission’s approval of changing a county ordinance that would prevent discrimination.
“Number one it’s already on the books,” said Allen. “We don’t discriminate in Bibb County.”
Allen’s experience with Macon goes way back to his firefighting days.
“We had individuals that were close to what they were talking about–we had gays, we had bisexuals, we never treated them any differently that we treated anyone else,” said Allen.
He uses the past as one of his reasons why he voted against adding anti-discrimination language to the county ordinances.
“We have between us, we’re employees but we’re also friends here. And we take care of one another,” said Allen.
The vote at last night’s meeting was 6-3 in favor of the resolution, with Allen, Scotty Shepherd and Mallory Jones voting no.
The resolution changes the ordinance to use specific language to prevent discrimination toward the LGBTQ community during the county’s hiring or promotion process.
“When things are running smoothly, no one’s being mistreated, why do you want to change something that’s already been properly done?” said Allen. “And that’s what Bibb County’s done.”
Allen says he’s worried about the precedent this may set.
“It’s like starting off, starting off with bathrooms that need to be changed, now it’s the jobs, what’s coming next?” said Allen.
He believes in the county’s hiring process.
“This board, that was here before me, the old county commission, this board here the county commission here, the mayor’s office, the CAO, his staff, have done a good job, along with personnel, in treating everyone as one would want to be treated,” said Allen.
Commissioner shepherd says he agrees for the same reasons.
The commission votes twice on ordinance changes, so the final vote is in two weeks.