published Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Election commission approves petition to repeal same-sex benefits in Chattanooga

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The Hamilton County Election Commission approved a petition, giving opponents the green light to start collecting signatures to request the domestic partner benefit be put forth as a referendum vote.

If enough signatures are collected the City Council will have to repeal the ordinance or the question will go to the public on the August ballot.

Hamilton County Election Commission Chairman Mike Walden today stopped in mid-meeting a discussion for a referendum to approve a petition to repeal Chattanooga's new domestic partners benefits ordinance.

The state requested that the commission meet this morning to approve or deny the petition for a referendum on the issue. There is a two-week deadline to collect the signatures.

Walden stopped the meeting to demand answers from the city attorney's office on the ordinance. There was no representative from the city attorney's office at the meeting, and the office was notified someone was needed.

The meeting is set to resume in 30 minutes

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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