CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force' released a statement on Chattanooga Domestic Partnership Ballot Initiative Result: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force' reaction to last night's election results in Chattanooga. Attached please find our organization's statement. I am happy to connect you with folk who were on the ground working to defeat the ballot measure that repealed the city's employee domestic partnership ordinance.
10:30 - Mayor Berke Statement on Non-Discrimination Ordinance: “I have no doubt Chattanoogans value fairness and equality, and I am proud of the volunteers who spent nights and weekends to ensure our employees are treated equally. The City of Chattanooga’s non-discrimination ordinance was repealed tonight, but I want every City employee to know one thing -- your work is valued and you are important to the future of our community. Regardless of the results tonight, my Administration will continue to hire and promote the best people who provide excellent service to our constituents."
10:19 - 100% reporting in Chattanooga Domestic Partners Benefit Ordinance: 13,684 AGAINST/8,184 FOR. from @MattBarbourWRCB
10:00 - YES Chattanooga campaign director Spencer White released this statement: "Fairness will prevail, and this fight continues until the voice of every Tennessean can be heard. I want to thank all the volunteers and local leaders who helped fight to defend a fair and equitable Chattanooga, as well as statewide and national organizations like the Tennessee Equality Project, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign, who played a vital role in this effort.”
9:42 - CHA Domestic Partnership - against 13,684 / for 8184. 114 of 130 precincts reporting from @KimberlyWRCB
9:40 - CHA Domestic Partnership against 12,171 / for 7,191. 78 of 130 precincts reporting from @MichelleWRCB
9:13 - Votes still being counted, but so far numbers are leaning against the Chattanooga domestic partnership ordinance by 3k votes #Decision2014 from @KimberlyWRCB
9:10 - CHA Domestic Partnership against 9753 / for 5861. 47 of 130 locations reporting from @MattBarbourWRCB
A big issue in Chattanooga whether to give benefits to city employees in domestic partnerships.
The "non-discrimination ordinance" has received nation-wide attention.
It would extend benefits to the 'domestic partners' of city workers of the same or opposite sex.
The ordinance allows the domestic partners of city workers to receive benefits, like health and life insurance. "Domestic partners" means an unmarried couple of the same or opposite living together in a committed relationship.
City council passed it last fall, but enough petitioners came forward to force a citizen vote. Many opponents say it's a moral issue saying the city should stick to traditional values. Supporters say it's a matter of being progressive 'and' treating everyone equally.
"We're equating those same two relationships which are not the same. Married couple obviously commits for life and a live in couple commits for a day or two, week or two, or month or two," said Mark West, Against Ordinance
"I don't think people should be able to, when it comes to something as personal as this, decide the way I should be able to receive benefits for my spouse because I have to pay for other people," said Capt. Corliss Cooper, For Ordinance
People on both sides are doing last-minute campaigning around town. Each saying tonight's outcome will say a lot about the city and where it's headed.