Nashville Mayor Karl Dean says he sign a bill that extends the city's gay protections to contractors, The Tennessean reported.

In 2009, Dean signed into law a bill that bans employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by the Metro government.

Metro Nashville is the governing body of the City of Nashville and Davidson County. The pair merged in 1963.

“Nashville is known as a welcoming and friendly city and as a city that doesn't discriminate,” Dean said in a statement. “The idea of requiring companies that do business with the city to adopt a nondiscrimination policy similar to our own makes sense.”

Metro Council is expected to hold a second of three required votes on the proposed measure on Tuesday but a third vote won't come until March.

During the council's February 1 meeting, Mike Jameson, who along with Jamie Hollin and Erica Gilmore introduced the legislation, was called out of order when he attempted to explain the main grievance, as he saw it, of the bill's opponents – that being gay is a choice.

“That crux is the belief that homosexuality is a choice,” Jameson told the council. “And I submit to you and ask for you to consider in explicit terms over the next two weeks whether or not that is in fact the case. Explore that issue with your friends, with your neighbors, with your constituents who are of the gay and lesbian community and ask them. Did they wake up one morning and decide to be gay. I would submit to you that the answer is no. That is not a choice.”

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce said in a letter that more time is needed to study how the bill would affect businesses.