Veteran Against The Domestic Partner Ordinance - And Response (3)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I write as a retired military member who spent 30 years on active duty.  My final overseas assignment was in southeast Afghanistan.  Upholding the Constitution and defending our way of life is vitally important to me.     

Our traditional American values are precious and must be protected.  Accordingly, my friends and I are against Chattanooga’s Domestic Partner Ordinance.   

The ordinance undercuts the institution of marriage; an institution established when the world was created.  Rather than supporting long-term unions of a man and a woman forever, the ordinance promotes temporary, unstable situations with multiple partners … all at the expense of the taxpayers and society.  

Instead, the city should spend its money on projects that will the benefit the greatest number of Chattanoogans.  For example, a recent survey of the streets reported the city needs about $5 million per year just to maintain the streets.  This does not include building new ones or performing heavy repair.  The street budget was a little over half that amount this year.  The city is not keeping pace with this vital municipal requirement and all Chattanoogans will suffer if more money is not allocated to the roads. 

Chattanooga should also pay better salaries and pensions to all employees instead of diverting money to domestic partner benefits for a relative few.  Before my military career, I served as a firefighter, deputy sheriff/coroner and emergency medical technician so I know the rigors of those jobs and the importance of supporting all employees.    

The so-called protections in the ordinance are equally troublesome.  The city has adequately handled employment decisions using existing law.  The value and dignity of employees have been protected.  A former affirmative action supervisor (and combat veteran) stated during the hearings prior to the city council’s adoption of the ordinance that existing laws were fair and properly administered.  Nothing new is needed.   

In fact, this section of the ordinance should concern people who love the First Amendment.  It contains no provisions to protect the closely-held religious beliefs of employees. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by President Clinton is the law of the land and failure to place language protecting free speech and religious views in the ordinance is a significant omission.    

The Domestic Partner Ordinance should be voted down.  Now is the time for all Chattanoogans to stand up for traditional American values and to reaffirm the American way of life by voting against the ordinance.     

Christopher R. Dooley
Col(ret), USAF

* * *

You said this, sir:

The ordinance undercuts the institution of marriage; an institution established when the world was created.  Rather than supporting long-term unions of a man and a woman forever, the ordinance promotes temporary, unstable situations with multiple partners … all at the expense of the taxpayers and society.   

I beg to differ with you, sir....The institution of marriage was created by Judeo-Christian priests, when they discovered they could make some serious money at it, and made it a 'sacrement'.

Our world has been here for billions of years, you are wrong. I support the facts.

Vote for same sex benefits is the correct solution. Knoxville has already done it.

Donald Woods

* * *  

I voted early in favor of the Domestic Partner Ordinance to honor the memory of victims like Mathew Shepard and a young man sent to prison and died during a time when interracial relationships were taboo and illegal. I feel this is a most appropriate time and way to truly honor their memory and others like them and to take a stand against intolerance, bigotry and hate wherever it rears its ugly head. Today it's against gays. Tomorrow that pendulum could just as easily swing back to people who look like me, as it's been known to do. 

Vote yes. 

Brenda Manghane-Washington 

* * * 

Mr. Woods statement on the history of marriage is interesting.  It is interesting because he gives absolutely no evidence for his statement.  If you are going to make such a statement, please present some facts to back it up.  If you supply no facts then it is either conjecture, or more seriously, invented. 

Mr. Woods obviously does not understand the term “Judeo-Christian.”  He writes as though Jewish rabbis and Christian pastors/priests got together one day over tea and dreamed up this marriage thing.  Mr. Woods does not even understand that the term is used to describe the principles found in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.  The Old Testament contains the same Scriptures that Jewish people believe.  The Old Testament is the foundation of the Christian beliefs.  Jews and Christians have a vast difference in belief on who Jesus Christ is, which is what is set forth in the New Testament.   

Good scholarship demands the presentation of evidence when countering a stated viewpoint.  I have presented evidence, not opinion, on the problems with Mr. Woods response. 

Mark Harwood
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