Added: Jediah Raglin - Date: 26.11.2021 02:25 - Views: 42455 - Clicks: 6104
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Starting today, Collegedale is the first city in Tennessee that will offer benefits to same-sex spouses of its government employees. For some walking out the doors of Collegedale City Hall on Monday night, that distinction is a badge of honor and a far-reaching victory.
For other residents of the small town, it's a heavy disappointment in what they say is an erosion of traditional family values they hoped their city leaders would defend. For Collegedale Detective Kat Cooper, the new policy means relief. Her wife can finally have insurance coverage. It's hard to explain how much this means to us.
Cooper led the charge to change the policy after she was denied family health coverage for her wife, Krista. The two were married in Maryland this spring. Four on the five-member commission voted to accept the new policy. Before he cast his supporting vote, Commissioner Larry Hanson said ironically, "You don't know how lucky we are to get to vote on this. Hanson has ly spoken about how the commission has been put in a difficult position, but how he feels the decision plainly favors equality.
The lone "no," Mayor John Turner, said he voted for the 74 who had reached out to him opposing the policy. Some from outside Collegedale showed up for the packed meeting, including al Mountain mother Juliet Jackson, who made s urging people to "speak up for traditional marriage.
We're bombarded by the other side. I think we should be able to respect one another. During public hearings, speakers on both sides remained calm and composed, often reading from prepared statements. In this case, a great opportunity lies in your hands. Resident Jeff Walton said he agreed with that description - but said the "waves" would be detrimental.
Resident Neil Lane, calling himself "a Christian man," said he was ashamed people would take a stand against "just plain fairness. Others questioned the validity of the policy in a state that does not recognize same sex marriages. City Attorney Sam Elliott explained that the policy "does not define marriage" and that it was "written to respect what Tennessee law provides. However, he said, the Tennessee Court of Appeals recognizes the term "family" as a "flexible term that is broad enough to include a collective body of persons who form one household and who have reciprocal, natural, or moral obligations to support and care for one another.
Local Regional News Collegedale, Tenn. Kat Cooper, right, and her wife, Krista, pose for a photo during their trip to get married in Maryland this May.Married sex in Chattanooga
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First same-sex couple married in Chattanooga