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Nearly half of signatures verified for petition on domestic partnership benefits

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Today is the deadline for a local conservative group to submit enough signatures to force a public vote on whether Chattanooga city employees' gay or straight unmarried partners should receive health insurance and other benefits.

Mark West of the local PAC Citizens for Government Accountability and Transparency and president of the local tea party said he believes he will have at least 6,000 signatures by this afternoon.

"We're doing better than we planned," he said Monday.

Read more from our partners at the Times Free Press.

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