The Tennessee Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would repeal Nashville's newly-approved gay protections ordinance.

The measure sponsored by Republican Senator Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet was overwhelmingly approved in the Republican-controlled Senate with a 21-8 vote. The House approved a companion bill by a wide margin last month.

A minor change in the Senate version of the bill means it has to go back to the House for approval. Republican Governor Bill Haslam has indicated he supports the measure.

Nashville narrowly approved last month a plan to extend the city's gay protections to contractors, joining more than 100 communities across the nation. The city's 2009 law bans employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (transgender protections).

Beavers' measure would strip the state of all gay protections laws by outlawing municipalities from enacting anti-discrimination ordinances that go beyond state laws, which do not include gay protections.

Supporters argued that equalizing state and local laws makes Tennessee an easier place to conduct business.

But in a video ad released by the Christian conservative Family Action Council of Tennessee, a different pitch is made for the measure.

In the video, a gruff-looking man is seen following a young girl into a playground restroom as a narrator asks, “Do gender differences matter to you?” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

“It's not any kind of statement that those who are transgender or cross dress are sexual predators,” the group's president, David Fowler, said in defending the ad. “It's that sexual predators will know how to take advantage of those opportunities afforded by law when the distinctions begin to get blurred with respect [to] who's rightfully or not in a restroom.”