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Collegedale first TN city to offer benefits to same-sex domestic partners

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It was an emotional night for Krista Cooper and her family. It was an emotional night for Krista Cooper and her family.

(WMC-TV) - Collegedale became first city in the state 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, according to the Associated Press.

"It's crazy that a small town like this whose background is southern Adventist would be the first one, the first city, in Tennessee to do this," said Krista Cooper, who fought for benefits.

Monday's vote did not come without opposition as many expressed their disbelief publicly in front of the commission and all Collegedale residents.

"We love homosexuals, but at the same point, we do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Biologically, biblically, just all around," said protesters Juliet Jackson.

Jackson says she traveled from Signal Mountain to protest the vote.

"I'm not hateful. Like I said ... I love these people. I disagree with them completely, but I think it's OK to disagree with people. I do think for Tennessee, it is concerning," said Jackson.

The four to one vote came with little discussion between commissioners. Mayor John Turner was the only one to vote against the resolution.

"I've had 74 people contact me, and only one, which was Mr. Lang this evening, he was the only one who contacted me that had a different opinion than what I got or what I cast my vote on tonight. Everybody else was essentially supporting my decision saying that's what we put you in there for. You represent us, and we want you to continue to do so," said Turner.

As for Cooper, she says she is thankful for everyone who stood by her family's side.

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