With a 5-to-3 vote Tuesday night, Chattanooga city council approved an ordinance on second reading that officially makes the city the third in Tennessee to extend city employee benefits to unmarried domestic partners, either gay or straight. The ordinance also updates Chattanooga’s discrimination clause to prohibit the city from firing workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity and protects them from workplace harassment.
After months of fiery public debate, the council approved the first reading of the ordinance last week by a single vote.
After weeks of fervent public debate, rallies, packed hearings and letters to the editor, an ordinance to extend benefits to the unmarried partners of Chattanooga city workers came down to one vote.
With a five-to-four vote, Chattanooga moved one step closer to becoming Tennessee’s third city to extend city employee benefits to gay and unmarried couples. Collegedale and Knoxville both adopted similar policies earlier this year.
President Barack Obama brings his campaign to boost America’s middle class to East Tennessee today when he speaks with employees at the Amazon.com fulfillment center in Chattanooga. The speech follows by one day Amazon’s announcement that it plans to hire 7,000 workers at its fulfillment and customer service centers nationwide. The centers in Chattanooga and Murfreesboro are among those that will be hiring.