Chattanooga Looking Into Same-Sex Benefit Issue

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chattanooga City Councilman Yusuf Hakeem said Tuesday night that the city is looking into whether to extend city benefits to city workers involved in a same-sex relationship.

Chairman Hakeem said, "There are a lot of exploratory issues going on right now."

He said City Attorney Wade Hinton has been asked to check into the legalities of the move.

The Collegedale City Council recently extended city benefits to same-sex couples and couples who live  together outside of marriage.

Chattanooga City Council members Chris Anderson and Carol Berz have spoken in favor of extending benefits to same-sex couples.

Mayor Andy Berke said, “I believe that everyone should be treated equally. We are examining the best ways for the city of Chattanooga to ensure the equal treatment of all our city employees.”   

Two speakers at the close of the City Council meeting spoke against the move and one in favor.

One speaker quoted scripture to the council and another said he believes most citizens and taxpayers are opposed. He said the issue should be put to the voters.

A speaker who described himself as a "straight male" said the benefits should go not only to same-sex couples, but to trans-sexuals and trans-genders. 


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