Celebrating Progress in Chattanooga
January 23, 2014
HRC was pleased to welcome Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke to HRC headquarters yesterday and thank him and his staff for their critical work to pass an ordinance to make the City of Chattanooga a more equitable employer. The Benefits and Equity Ordinance passed by a 5-3 vote of the city council in November of last year, expanding the city’s non-discrimination policy for city employees to include sexual orientation and gender identity and allowing employees to enroll their domestic partners in the city’s employee benefit programs. Mayor Berke’s early and vocal support was critical in helping the efforts of newly elected, openly gay city council member Chris Anderson and local LGBT groups, like the Tennessee Equality Project.
Unfortunately, opponents of equality gathered enough signatures to petition the new ordinance to a ballot vote before it could take effect. The voters of Chattanooga will have a chance to vote “YES” to keep the Benefits and Equity Ordinance during the primary election on August 7th of this year.
Pictured (L to R: HRC Deputy Field Director, Jeremy Pittman; HRC Senior Regional Field Organizer for the South, Ryan Rowe; Chattanooga Tennessee Mayor Andy Berke; HRC National Field Director, Marty Rouse)