published Monday, November 25th, 2013

1,634 signatures collected so far on petition to overturn Chattanooga's same-sex benefits policy

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    Petition against domestic partner benefit ordinance

Would you sign the petition?

The petition challenging Chattanooga's same-sex partner benefits is more than a third of the way complete.

But time is of the essence.

Mark West, president of Citizens for Government Accountability and Transparency, is organizing the effort to collect the 4,500 signatures necessary to petition the last week's City Council's 5-3 approval of the ordinance from last week.

Citizens have two weeks from the vote — until Dec. 3 — to reach that watermark.

At 4 p.m. Monday, West dropped off his stack of collected signatures — 1,634 he said — at the Hamilton County Election Commission.

With about 2,900 signatures to go, West said the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend will be integral to the petition's success.

"The people of Chattanooga will decide if we meet this deadline," West said. "There's still four days of a long holiday weekend we have to overcome it."

West and CGAT have promoted the petition through seven digital billboards, as well as radio spots and internet advertisements.

At least five area churches provided copies of the petition during Sunday services yesterday, though West said "dozens and dozens" of community organizations have been reaching out to him.

Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.

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