Memphis is considering an ordinance that would protect city workers against discrimination based on sexual orientation, Memphis ABC affiliate Eye Witness News 24 reported.

Lawmakers won't take a final vote on the measure for four to six weeks, but opposition to the bill is already brewing.

“It is going to discriminate against people who are Christians,” Dr. Steve Gaines, a pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church, said. “And I believe with all my heart that they have rights too.”

Memphis Councilwoman Janis Fullilove said as a Christian woman she backs the ordinance.

“I'm a Christian and I don't feel that this ordinance would discriminate against me or any other Christian,” she said.

But Fullilove did acknowledge that she anticipated the church would oppose the bill: “I knew initially that there was going to be some opposition, and especially from the church community.”

Also on the table is a separate measure that would extend the anti-discriminatory policy to anyone doing business with the city. That proposal is expected to be introduced within the next two weeks.

Gaines said he and his supporters oppose both measures.

“We believe this ordinance and this resolution should be opposed. And if it's not opposed it's going to be very divisive and discriminatory against many faith-based people in Memphis and Shelby County,” he said.

Memphis has been rocked by a string of unsolved transgender murders and the gay community has been the target of vandalism in recent years.