Mayor Madeline Rogero told the News Sentinel Wednesday that she plans to extend city employee benefits to domestic partners, a move that highlights an administrative platform of diversity initiatives.

"Basically this is about treating employees equally and fairly — those who are in committed relationships," she said.

The benefit would require a domestic partner — regardless of sexual orientation or preference — to prove via financial documents their commitment to an employee, according to Rogero.

The move makes Knoxville the first large city in Tennessee to extend city medical, dental, vision, and dependent life benefits to same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners, and the second municipality behind Collegedale to extend the benefit.

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