After serving 11 years with the Collegedale Police Department, Detective Kat Cooper didn't think she would have any trouble adding her committed partner to her health benefits plan with the city last year.

She thought it would take a few trips to human resources and some signatures. Instead, it's been a months-long quest.

But because of Cooper's efforts, Collegedale is poised to become the first Tennessee city to extend employee benefits to domestic partnerships.

"Sometimes I don't think the general public is aware of just how much this issue -- which seems so simple -- affects their neighbors, their friends, their loved ones and coworkers," Cooper said Wednesday. "This is huge for us."

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