Collegedale OKs benefits for domestic partners

COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. (AP) – Collegedale has become the first Tennessee city to offer benefits to same-sex domestic partners of city workers.

The city of about 6,500 residents just east of Chattanooga adopted the proposal Monday night. Collegedale City Commission members voted 4-1 in favor. The lone “no” vote came from Mayor John Turner. The Chattanooga Times Free Press ( ) reported Turner cast his vote for 74 residents who had told him they opposed the plan.

City police Detective Kat Cooper led the initiative. Under the city’s previous rules, she had been denied health insurance coverage for her spouse, Krista.

Some speakers questioned the validity of such a policy because the state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages. City Attorney Sam Elliot said the policy “does not define marriage.”