Judge Rules Domestic Partners Ordinance To Proceed As Drafted By Petitioners; Rally Set In Support Of Ordinance

Monday, July 7, 2014

Circuit Court Judge Neil Thomas on Monday morning ruled that the Domestic Partners Ordinance referendum will proceed as drafted by the group that gained signatures to put it on the ballot.

The judge ruled after hearing arguments on Thursday afternoon and considering the issue over the weekend.

The city of Chattanooga and Lt. Corliss Cooper and oartner Robin Smith had sought  to have wording drafted by the city explaining the ordinance put on the ballot instead of the shorter version that will now go forward.

The start of the printing of the ballots had to occur by noon today to have them ready for the Aug. 7 election.

The new city policy, which allows benefits to same-sex or live-in partners of city employees, was set to go into effect the first of July. However, it was put on hold due to the referendum.

Meanwhile, a rally was set at the steps of City Hall today at 5:30 p.m. in support of the ordinance. Those set to take part included City Council members Moses Freeman and Chris Anderson.

The group said, "Fair-minded elected officials, faith and community leaders will rally today to demand equal protection for all city of Chattanooga employees."

The policy was approved by the City Council in a 5-4 vote.

The petition drive was led by Tea Party president Mark West. Enough signatures were gained in a two-week drive.

Judge Thomas said he found a Tennessee Supreme Court decision that was directly on point. He said in that case involving a vote on a new form of government in Shelby County the court left the ballot referendum as originally drafted.

The judge denied a temporary restraining order and said his decision was final.

City attorneys and attorney Stevie Phillips said they would be conferring with their clients on whether to appeal.


Gravitt Raises Questions On Soccer Contract; Suggests Dress Code For East Ridge Employees

The contract between East Ridge and Chattanooga Football Club Academy (CFCA) will expire on the last day of June. Vice Mayor Marc Gravitt expressed concern that the agreement was one-sided in the favor of CFCA even though conditions in the contract were the same as last year with just one change, it will be for a 10-month period of time instead of 12 months. The club will pay the ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BELL, CARVING LEBRON  2000 GARFIELD STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37402  Age at Arrest: 40 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County AGGRAVATED ASSAULT-DOMESTIC --- BERRIEN, TAYLA LISA  7024 SPORTSMAN DRIVE HARRISON, 37341  Age at Arrest: 18 years old Arresting Agency:  DOMESTIC ... (click for more)

Jill Levine Is An Educational Rock Star

No one has covered the Hamilton County Department of Education drama better than Roy Exum.  Thank you, Roy, but I take issue with your unnamed sources.  Professional jealousy and sour grape darts should not be anonymous.   HCDE is so dysfunctional, and there is good cause to place this public organization under a microscope, dissect it into pieces and discard all ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Cancer Is Not A Battle

I read a marvelous essay not long ago where the author urged, “Stop telling the lie that cancer is a battle … a battle implies a fair fight, and there was nothing fair about my cancer or the cancer that took the life of my friend. Those experiences were about as fair as getting hit by a car – and nobody says people lose their battles with automobiles.” Mary Elizabeth Williams, ... (click for more)

Lady Raiders Use 7-Run Inning To Knock Off Central

Baylor softball coach Kelli Smith saw signs in a weekend tournament that her Lady Raiders were coming out of their early-season slumber at just the right time. The Lady Raiders, coming off a championship performance in East Hamilton's Choo Choo Classic at The Summitt, spotted Central a second-inning run, scored seven runs in the third and cruised to a 15-3 non-league victory ... (click for more)

East Hamilton's Briar Potter To Wrestle At MTSU

It seemed like Briar Potter made history for East Hamilton every time he stepped onto the wrestling mat these last four years. He was a four-year starter and qualified for the state meet in all of those years.   He was the Hurricanes first state medalist when he finished fourth at 106 pounds as a sophomore. He is surely the winningest Hurricane with 98 wins and he’s ... (click for more)