US: Tennessee city offers equal benefits to same-sex partners of city workers

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The first city in the US state of Tennessee has offered equal benefits to same-sex domestic partners of city workers.

The city of Collegedale, which has a population of about 6,500 on Monday adopted the measure. The City Commission members voted 4-1 in favour of the measure, which allows equal benefits to the domestic partners of employees of the city.

Mayor John Turner was the only commission member who voted against it. He told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that 74 residents had told him they opposed the plans.

Kat Cooper, a City police Detective, had led the initative. Under previous rules, Cooper had been denied health insurance cover for her spouse Krista.

During proceedings, some speakers opposed the measure, asking the validity of it given that the state of Tennessee currently does not recognise same-sex marriages. Speaking in favour of the measure, City Attorney Same Elliot said the policy “does not define marriage”.