A local law with the purpose of squelching profiling and discriminatory business practices in downtown Athens bars has been delayed from being voted on.
According to Flagpole Magazine, Mayor Nancy Denson took the proposed ordinance, which has been in the works since the summer, off of the schedule of the Athens-Clarke County Board of Commissioners, denying the bill the chance to see a vote.
he legislation was approved by a portion of the board in July and was originally scheduled for a vote at the board’s Sept. 6 meeting. According to Denson, the bill may never be voted on.
“I haven’t decided when or if it’s coming back yet,” she said.
The law would look to end the practice of denying certain patrons entrance to local bars based on sexual orientation and race, a practice highlighted by both a report in the Red and Black and a survey by the University of Georgia’s Student Government Association.
If passed, the local ordinance would require the posting of any dress codes or notices of private parties. Failure to meet these new codes would result in the suspension or permanent loss of an establishment’s alcohol license.
Denson, who claims to support the bill, has delayed voting for a mixture of reasons. She axed the original planned Sept. 6 vote due to her being absent on a trip to Ireland with Gov. Nathan Deal.
In addition, she is worried certain commissioners will attempt to amend the legislation and expand the wording to include restaurants as well as bars, an act she feels is unnecessary.
According to Commissioner Kelly Girtz, including restaurants in the ordinance is not the only change some commissioners wish to make.
Girtz told Flagpole if the bill is voted on, he will propose an amendment to create a civil rights commission, a review board designed to investigate and settle claims of discrimination in downtown Athens.
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