published Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Weinberg: Vote for the Chattanooga's domestic partnership ordinance

By Hedy Weinberg

Last November, Chattanooga embraced fairness and equality by adding protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance and offering domestic partnership benefits to city employees.

Unfortunately, immediately following the passage of this measure, a local group petitioned against it, collecting enough signatures for the ordinance to appear on Thursday’s ballot.

While the measure is labeled as the domestic partnership ordinance on the ballot, it is really about so much more.

It is about basic fairness for Chattanooga city employees. Studies show that about a third of lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans have experienced adverse treatment in the workplace because of their sexual orientation, and a shocking 90 percent of transgender Americans have endured work-related harassment or discrimination. People’s ability to earn a living and support their families should be based on their job skills and performance. A person who works hard and does his or her job effectively should not be fired just because he or she is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Chattanooga’s nondiscrimination ordinance will ensure that city employees are treated with basic human dignity and are evaluated fairly.

Government employees deserve assurance that they will be treated equally at work. The absence of such protection for Chattanooga’s LGBT employees challenges our sense of fairness and sends the wrong message to those dedicated public servants. Public servants like Capt. Corliss Cooper, who recently made history when she became the first African-American female captain in the history of the Chattanooga Police Department after serving in law enforcement for decades.

Perhaps Capt. Cooper herself put it best when she said, “I put my life on the line every day for the citizens of Chattanooga. This ordinance ensures that my family will receive the same protections and benefits as every other officer in the department.”

To date, about 490 other cities in the United States, including Memphis, Knoxville, Nashville, Collegedale and over 145 other cities in the South, have successfully implemented a nondiscrimination ordinance and/or provided domestic partner benefits, sending a message to city employees like Cooper that they deserve equal treatment and protection in the workplace.

Corporate America already has begun voluntarily implementing this type of protection — 91 percent of America’s Fortune 500 companies provide explicit protections for employees on the basis of sexual orientation.

Indeed, many of Tennessee’s top private employers have shown that they value inclusivity and see clear economic benefits to corporate nondiscrimination, including companies with a large presence in Chattanooga. Volkswagen, Unum Group, Mohawk Industries, SunTrust, Regions, Blue Cross BlueShield of Tennessee, Amazon and Wal-Mart all have nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation and/or gender identity and/or offer domestic partner benefits.

Chattanooga has the opportunity to embrace a crucial community-defining moment and reaffirm its reputation as a forward-thinking and inclusive city where all city workers are protected from discrimination and treated fairly and equally.

Everyone will be watching to see what kind of city Chattanooga will be.

Hedy Weinberg is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

California. The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Washington, D.C. July 2012 Washington, D.C. is one of the areas hardest hit by HIV in the United States (U.S.), with an epidemic on par with some developing nations.1,2,3 In D.C., approximately 2.7% of the population is living with HIV, which exceeds UNAIDS’ definition of a “generalized” epidemic (having HIV prevalence greater than 1% of the population),3,4 and D.C. has the highest AIDS diagnosis rate of any state in the U.S.

August 3, 2014 at 2:28 a.m.


My Dearest Friends: 'Wife', in Hebrew, means 'Woman'!...(female)

My Dearest Friends:'Husband, in Hebrew, means 'Man'...(male)

And, may I say: 'Wife', in Greek, means 'Woman'!...(female)

And, may I say: 'Husband', in Greek, means 'Man'! ...(male)

Capiche? The very next step is to beastiality and a demand to 'legally' allow [humans] to 'marry'dogs, horses, mules, other animals. (And to get them insured at innocent tax-payers expense. They would, of course, be labeled 'CIVIL UNIONS'. Legislated. This is not a joke!

Malleus Deum Verum

August 3, 2014 at 2:28 a.m.


A Sovereign Nation Has the Right to Reward Individuals Within Unions (Marriages) Who Have the Greatest Expectation to Procreate. [Nations Need Taxpayers]. A Sovereign Nation Has the Right to Deny Reward (Insurance/Tax Write-Offs/Death Benefits to Spouses, etc.)to Individual Unions Which do Not Have the Expectation to Procreate. Also, A Sovereign Nation Has the Right to Discourage Supporting Individuals Who Cost Their Innocent Tax Payers Over $20,000,000,000 [Twenty Billion Dollars] Per Year. The Average Cost to Treat One Case of HIV/AIDS is Over $400,000 [Four Hundred Thousand Dollars Per Lifetime. (Source: Center for Disease Control {CDC} HIV Surveillance Report 2009, Vol 21). So, My Question to You: "Shall We Change The Definition of Husband to Mean Woman, Or, The Definition of Wife to Mean Man? Shall We Do This Even Though These Unions Go Against The Wisdom and Needs of a Sovereign United States of America? This Deadly Chosen Lifestyle is Not to be Forced Upon a Sovereign Nation.

Malleus Deum Verum

August 3, 2014 at 2:29 a.m.


You must look a little closer. *** It is in no way a privilege of any U.S. Citizen to change the definition of any word or related institution associated with said word. (Husband=Male, Wife=Female).

*** No protections of U.S. Citizens are denied by maintaining folkways, morays, traditional family values and/or traditions of society.

*** Powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people.

*** Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled. (my edit for sake of changes to interpretation applied)kwo

Malleus Deum Verum

August 3, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.


"Once you have been infected with HIV, you will always carry it in your body."

"There is no cure for HIV."

Citizens! Please! Where are your brains??? Do you want your family tax dollars paying from $400,0000.00 to $600,000.000 per infected homosexual who chose a lifestyle Jesus Christ labels an abomination?

Malleus Deum Verum

August 3, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.

The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Washington, D.C. [kaiser foundation] Washington, D.C. is the hardest hit by HIV in the United States (U.S.), with an epidemic on par with some developing nations. In D.C., approximately (NOW 3.3%) of the population is living with HIV, which exceeds UNAIDS’ definition of a “generalized” epidemic (having HIV prevalence greater than 1% of the population),3,4 and

D.C. has the highest AIDS diagnosis rate of any state in the U.S. Third World countries laugh at Washington D.C.: Africa is doing better than they [D.C.] are in the HIV/AIDS category. Yeah, Liberal Democrat Stronghold, D.C. is a great example for the rest of the nation!

August 3, 2014 at 2:31 a.m.
conservative said...

Good Job Ken!

August 3, 2014 at 7:22 a.m.
GaussianInteger said...

And "Orr" in Hebrew means delusional.

August 3, 2014 at 8:24 a.m.
librul said...

Ken and Connie - a marriage made in heaven!

August 3, 2014 at 10:18 a.m.


fairmon said...


vote for a property tax increase at some point in the future. a couple hundred thousand here and a couple hundred thousand there for this and similar other peoples money legislation by politicians using tax payer money to gain favor and votes will indeed require more tax revenue from some source."

I do so much agree with fairmon!

Little-by-little, deceptively, within the Occult, The Chattanooga Homosexuals will Tax Innocent Citizens to death! Property, Sewage Taxes, etc. If we allow it!***

They want Us to pay hundres of thousands of dollars to them for their (what has been labeled) 'THE HOMOSEXUAL CULTURE OF DEATH' ...'They' say that.

City of Chattanooga! Do Not Be Fooled into paying $400,000 to $600,000 per lifetime per HIV/AIDS Infected Homosexual Patient.

Malleus Deum Verum

August 3, 2014 at 1:11 p.m.


African-Americans and other disenfranchised people among the 'so

called' minority populations will bear the pain of the burden of this deceptive attempt to raise future taxes.

The poor of Chattanooga Tennessee cannot afford the increased taxes that will gradually be levied against them to support the 'going bankrupt' Hospice Centers treating The Homosexual HIV/AIDS Patients. Many other harms to society wil occur as a result if this ordinance is passed in favor of the part of the Homosexual Community that is infected with HIV/AIDS, The 'Super-Bug' Gonorrhea ,,(very often much worse than Homosexual's who have HIV/AIDS), Opportunistic Infections passed on even by Movie Theatre seats where an infected person has been seated, etc., etc., etc.


Malleus Deum Verum

August 3, 2014 at 1:12 p.m.
timbo said...

I could care less who anyone has sex with, I just don't want to pay for it.

SOLUTION: Only pay for the employee. After that for family, or lover, or whatever, the employee pays. Then we conservatives don't have to pay for anyone's kids or for gender identity or anything else.

This is about money as far as I am concerned. If it adds to our tax burden, I SAY HELL NO.

August 4, 2014 at 7:36 a.m.
GaussianInteger said...

Do you live in Chattanooga, Timbo? How does it "add to YOUR tax burden"?

August 4, 2014 at 11:19 a.m.
timbo said...

Ok, your right. I live in the county. It was a rhetorical comment. I forgot you have a Democratic mayor. And increasing tax burden is inevitable.

You have had District 1 comments if I recall. Do you live there?

August 4, 2014 at 6:58 p.m.
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