City Council Also Suing Over Wording Of Domestic Partners Ordinance; FOP Backs Same-Sex Couple

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The City Council voted Tuesday night 8-1 to file suit over wording on the ballot of an upcoming referendum on the Domestic Partners Ordinance.

Members of the Fraternal Order of Police said they back Lt. Corliss Cooper, who earlier filed suit on the same issue.

Officials of the Fraternal Order of Police, Rock City Lodge #22, said they "believe every police officer should be treated equally, regardless of their gender, race or sexual identity. As an organization, we value non-discrimination and equal benefits for all employees. It is for this reason that we publicly support and stand with our fellow police officer, Lt. Corliss Cooper.

"The FOP agrees with Lt. Cooper that the Aug. 7 ballot language regarding the Non-Discrimination Ordinance should be complete and precise, providing Chattanoogans with the accurate information they need to exercise an informed vote on this important issue.

"Lt. Cooper has served the citizens of Chattanooga for nearly three decades and should have the same protections and benefits as every officer in the Chattanooga Police Department."

The City Council said the wording on the ballot should be a longer version crafted by the city rather than one drawn up by the group that gained enough signatures to force the vote.

The Election Commission earlier this week went along with the shorter version, saying that had been approved by the state and that the petitioners get to craft the language. Mark West, of the petition group, said the group early on made sure the wording passed muster.


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