Monday night the small Tennessee town of Collegedale became the first in the state to offer benefits to the partners of LGBT employees.
For some walking out the doors of Collegedale City Hall on Monday night, that distinction is a badge of honor and a far-reaching victory. For other residents of the small town, it’s a heavy disappointment in what they say is an erosion of traditional family values they hoped their city leaders would defend. “It looks like we are condoning same-sex marriage,” said resident Dolly Fillman. “I know they said that wasn’t what they were doing, but it looks like it to me.” For Collegedale Detective Kat Cooper, the new policy means relief. Her wife can finally have insurance coverage. “It is such a huge weight off our shoulders,” she said. “We don’t have to constantly worry about health expenses or sudden emergencies. It’s hard to explain how much this means to us.” Cooper led the charge to change the policy after she was denied family health coverage for her wife, Krista. The two were married in Maryland this spring.
The only dissenting vote came from the mayor, who said he was doing so on behalf of the 74 people who had contacted him in opposition to the benefits. (Tipped by JMG reader Kyle)