Members of the Chattanooga City Council again heard entreaties from both sides on whether benefits should be extended to city employees with same-sex partners or with unmarried partners.
Shade Smith, pastor of Temple Baptist Church, said the idea should be squelched both on moral and financial grounds. He said the Bible states that homosexuality is sinful, and he said the same-sex lifestyle is unhealthy.
He said over one half of those with AIDS are involved in the gay lifestyle, and he said the FDA still does not allow gays to give blood.
Rev. Smith had a large number of church members to stand up.
Kealy Gilliland said she has the opposing viewpoint and urged the council to extend the benefits.
She said she was raised in a Christian family and is married and heterosexual.
But she said, "Employees doing equal jobs should be entitled to equal benefits."
She also had a group present. Ms. Gilliland said the group will be coming back to future council meetings and wearing similar T-shirts.
Daniel Wysong said adding the benefit will go against the state Constitution and the will of most Tennesseans.