By David Tulis
The moral claims of Christianity in Chattanooga are being brushed aside by an ordinance that proposes the city become the enabling agent for two people to create what it calls a domestic partnership.
The city doesn’t propose to recognize an existing relationship, but to create one.
This provocative idea comes from the ordinance drafted by the city legal department and council member Chris Anderson, a homosexual. The ordinance is being debated Nov. 12 and Nov. 19. The council is taking no more public comment.
The city proposes becoming the principal actor, the prime mover, in homosexual relationships of its employees. The enabling device is called the affidavit of domestic partnership. Read carefully:
Affidavit of Domestic Partnership means a form provided by the Department of Human Resources that creates a domestic partnership when signed by the city employee and the domestic partner. By signing it, the city employee and the domestic partner attest, under penalty of perjury, that they both meet all of the requirements of domestic partners as provided herein.
In other words, nothing identifiable exists prior to the signing of the affidavit. When members of the couple affix their signatures to the paper, pursuant to qualifications outlined in sec. 2-151 of the proposal, the city creates ex nihilo (from nothing) a legal entity — a partnership.
Sexual union is required
The city insists that domestic partnership be sexual in nature (with cohabitation being 365 days more in progress). But it forbids partnership status to any family members of an employee. Since sexual union is required between the partners, the partners cannot be family members. Were they to be, the partners would be involved in incest, which is a Class C felony in Tennessee law.
Kept at arms length is any relative who may be a dependent and share expenses and utility bills. The missing ingredient is either homosexual sex or old-fashioned fornication. If the partner is not a family member, the council grants itself an authority to create (via that affidavit) a sexual union, so medical and other benefits may be dispensed.
In sum: City acting outside lawful power to favor gays
The city is ignoring the Tennessee constitution’s marriage amendment while creating a legal entity known as “domestic partnership.” This legal entity is created by authority that the state has not delegated to the municipal corporation via its charter. The city is acting ultra vires, or “outside the view” granted it by the legislature, its parent and source of sustenance. The city charter controls Chattanooga’s exercise of derivative authority (also known as sovereignty), a glory imparted to it by the state at Chattanooga’s inception.
A reader who understands the implication of this step should contact city council at the phone numbers and addresses listed here.
Sources: “Municipal corporations,” Tennessee Jurisprudence; Tennessee Code Annotated