By KRISTIN M. HALLAssociated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A lawsuit filed in Nashville challenging a new state law says the legislation voids school board policies that protect gay and lesbian students from bullying and harassment, but the law's sponsor disagrees.

The law prohibits local governments from creating anti-discrimination regulations that are stricter than the state's and repealed a Nashville city ordinance barring companies that discriminate against gays and lesbians from doing business with the city.

Attorney Abby Rubenfeld, who represents Nashville councilmembers and residents in the lawsuit, says the statute can be interpreted to restrict school policies banning bullying of students based on sexual orientation.

But state Rep. Glen Casada, a Republican from Franklin who sponsored the legislation, said they are misreading the bill and its intent was to prevent local governments from putting mandates on local businesses.

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