Domestic Partnership Ordinance: What's In It For Me? - And Response (3)

Friday, November 29, 2013

1.  I work fulltime for the city of Chattanooga. How does the newly passed Domestic Partnership ordinance help me?  You can now add your live-in girlfriend to your taxpayer subsidized health insurance plan.  Oh, you say she has two kids from previous relationships and you want to add them to your plan? That's no problem. You can add them too.  What if I die? What happens to their insurance? That's no problem. The city will allow them to stay on the plan for up to three years after you've passed on. 

2.  I work fulltime for the city. My boyfriend and his sister live with me. Can I add her to the plan. Yes, if you claim his sister as a dependent, you can put her on the plan. 

3.  I've worked part-time seven years for the city. I currently receive no city insurance. What's in it for me? Sorry, but as part-time employee, you will not be entitled to any insurance. 

4. My boyfriend and I have been living together for a year. I am confused about the wording of the ordinance. We each have separate bedrooms and aren't having sex. Can I put him on my plan? No, you need to have more than a platonic relationship to qualify. However, if you and he decide to have sexual activity you would move your relationship status from platonic to non-platonic. Assuming you work full-time, this would allow him to qualify for benefits.  

5.  I am a retiree of the police department. The city decreased benefits for Medicare eligible retirees to save money. Does this mean we will be getting that benefit back? No you will not. This ordinance does nothing for you. 

6.  I've heard this mainly helps gay and lesbian couples. That can't be very many people. They said the cost would be only $168,000 extra per year. What's wrong with that?  Actually the ordinance gives gay, lesbian and straight unmarried couples and their dependents the same coverage. When you add heterosexual unmarried enrollees, the projected cost is obviously wrong.   

7. My neighbors and I think this ordinance is a terrible piece of legislation. What can we do to stop this craziness?  Sign the petition before Dec. 3. This will give citizens the opportunity to vote it up or down. 

8.  I am a taxpayer. What do I get?  You will receive your tax bill on time. 

John Pierce

Chattanooga 

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1. I am a person that hates everybody that's different from me. How will the city Domestic Partnership ordinance help me? It will keep you up at night writing pointless letters in an attempt to have things more like they were in "the good ol' days." 

2. My wife and I are happily married. How will the city Domestic Partnership ordinance impact me? It will likely make you think your marriage (assuming you are a man and she is a woman) is ruined, just like our legislators in Nashville said it would. The upside is sheep are safer now. 

3. I work for the city part-time. How will the city Domestic Partnership ordinance affect me? It won't, because like most part-time employees (of which the city has percentage-wise very few) you don't qualify for full-time benefits. Why act so surprised? 

4. I hate Obamacare and all that it stands for. How will the city Domestic Partnership ordinance change that? It won't. You will still hate everything the President does and somehow blame him for this, too. 

5. I am a Tea Party Republican. How will the city Domestic Partnership ordinance change that? It will only strengthen your opinion that we are approaching the end times, make you first in line to sign anything that's anti-Obama or anti-government, keep you writing letters against everything without offering solutions, and keep you a lifelong member of the party of "Nope and Strange." 

Herb Montgomery
Chattanooga

* * *

Mr. Pierce makes a very strong argument about the insane decision  by a few Council members made concerning "family" health Insurance. To read his letter of facts, then remembering the mayor saying, "It's only the fair thing to do" is very insulting. Welcome back Ron L.  

Mr. Pierce never used the word hate or was judgemental. With facts he is basically saying, stop the insanity.  

Yes, it's not just a financial or unfair treatment of retired employees issue. But it's a moral issue. It's rewarding bad behavior. As usual, when a believer of God's word makes a point, the liberals scream haters. 

Come out from among them (the world) and be separate and live a Holy life.  

And yes, Herb, the sheep (God's people) are safer. It's the wolves that attack the sheep.  

Michael Burns
Life Long Member of Hope In Jesus Christ 

* * *  

When you spend a majority of your time trying to keep someone else from getting something (whether it is equal rights, the right to vote, food stamps, etc.) then it is time to re-evaluate your own morality, especially if you call yourself a "Christian." 

The amount of misleading or misunderstood information, as well as downright lies about the new ordinance spread by the local Tea Party faithful is staggering, second only to those they spread about Obamacare.   

Here are a few facts they haven't mentioned: 

Domestic partners would have to buy into the family benefit plan the same as current employees’ spouses do. 

The ordinance ensures workplace fairness and equality by updating the nondiscrimination clause for city of Chattanooga employees to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. This protects our city employees from being fired or discriminated against because of whom they love or who they are.   

To be eligible for benefits and qualification as a domestic partnership, both individuals must be over 18, share a primary residence for at least 365 days prior, and must be in a committed and intimate relationship. Additionally, they must both be jointly responsible for basic living expenses as proven by at least three different forms of documentation. 

Over 130 other American cities have adopted similar legislation, including Collegedale and Knoxville.  Additionally, some of the largest area employers offer similar benefits, including BlueCross BlueShield, Unum, First Tennessee, Suntrust, Cigna, and Volkswagen. 

Let's get serious here.  The issue has never been about money.  The City Council spends millions every year on all sorts of things without protest and without a referendum challenging the spending.  The issue has always been about religious bigotry and some people simply don't believe in giving equal rights to "the gay."  It is also upsetting that a few of the local churches are getting involved in this political issue, which could put their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS in jeopardy. 

Councilman Larry Grohn has stated his opinion that homosexuals choose to be that way and are not born that way.  I wonder at what age Mr. Grohn chose to be heterosexual?  And someone with his personal marital history is the last person I want to hear lecture on the sanctity of marriage.  

If you sign this petition you might as well hang a sign around your neck saying, "I am a bigot and I don't believe in equal rights for all." 

Bret Douglas
Chattanooga



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