UPDATE: Chattanooga debating to extend benefits to domestic partners of city employees
UPDATE: A historic vote is stirring controversy in Chattanooga and Tuesday, council members will decide whether or not to extend benefits to domestic partners.
Last week, the council voted in favor of the ordinance allowing city employees in a domestic relationship, to have the same health insurance benefits as married couples.
It goes up for a final vote Tuesday night. The city council meeting just got underway, they'll take a final vote on the domestic partnership benefits ordinance in just a few minutes.
As expected, hundreds of people have crowded the meeting. It's been a source of controversy for the last few weeks and we'll see which side gets its way.
PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga is one vote away from becoming the third city in Tennessee to extend benefits to domestic partners of city employees.
Mayor Andy Berke has voiced his support for the measure, saying it will attract more people to the city.
Others aren't so sure. The final vote is at Tuesday's meeting that starts at 6 o'clock. The ordinance passed the first vote by a single vote. There's a large crowd on both sides of the issue expected to come Tuesday night.
"While we campaigned no candidate, no constituent, no voter ever asked or expressed a need to give benefits to domestic partners," said Chip Henderson.
"I think it's really important that Chattanooga sets an example to be a progressive city so we can be a model for other cities in the way that we treat our employees," said Chris Anderson, Councilman.
Channel 3 spoke with Councilman Larry Grohn today who 'opposes' the ordinance. He will 'not' be voting Tuesday because he is out of town. Again, last week it was a 5-4 vote, if someone changes their vote, making it a 4-4 tie Tuesday, the ordinance is defeated.