Chattanooga domestic partner benefits rejected

Nearly a year of public debate over whether Chattanooga should provide benefits to their employees' gay or straight partners, ended at the polls Thursday with a resounding no.

The domestic partner benefits ordinance was voted down for a total of 13,685 votes with the yes votes lagging at 8,184 votes.

Chattanooga Tea Party President Mark West said he hopes the City Council and Mayor Andy Berke honor "the will of the people."

"What we want them to take away from this is that the people have spoken," he said.

Meanwhile, those in favor of the ordinance said the outcome was disappointing and will have negative consequences for the city, but the campaign did manage to bring people together who are like minded.

""Our campaign for fairness and equality brought together churches, dozens of faith leaders, businesses from around this city and this state," said Spencer White, the YES Chattanooga campaign director.