City To Appeal Judge's Decision On Domestic Partners Ordinance Referendum Wording

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The city of Chattanooga has filed notice that it plans to appeal a decision by Circuit Court Judge Neil Thomas on the issue of wording on the Domestic Partners Benefits Ordinance referendum.

Judge Thomas ruled Monday morning that the 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 and Lt. Corliss Cooper and partner 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 ballots had to be printed by noon Monday so the issue will go to the voters as drafted by the group led by Mark West, president of the Chattanooga Tea Party.

The appeal by City Attorney Wade Hinton is to the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Judge Thomas said there was a Tennessee Supreme Court case directly on point in favor of the petitioners.

Election Commission members noted that the version from the West group had been approved by state election officials.

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