Gay Marriage | News | Tennessee

Poll: 49 Percent of Tennesseans Support Gay Marriage or Civil Unions

A new poll shows progress on gay rights in Tennessee, the Tennessean reports:

TennesseeA poll conducted this month for Vanderbilt University found that 49 percent of Tennesseans support gay marriage or civil unions while 46 percent are opposed to both, suggesting the state is now evenly divided on whether to extend legal recognition to same-sex couples.

Meanwhile, 62 percent of Tennesseans say health insurance and other employee benefits should be extended to the domestic partners or spouses of gays and lesbians. Thirty-one percent oppose the idea.

Views have changed significantly in seven years:

The poll results suggest a marked shift in Tennesseans’ views since 2006, when 81 percent of voters approved an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage between one man and one woman as “the only legally recognized marital contract” in the state.

That amendment remains a substantial hurdle to proponents of same-sex marriage in Tennessee, casting doubt on any legislation that attempts to extend the benefits of marriage to gays and lesbians in the state.

Its repeal also appears unlikely in the near future.

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Comments

  1. This is remarkable in many ways.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 22, 2013 12:46:45 PM


  2. I guess that once the Wrath of God doesn't seem anymore wrathful than usual, most people tend to forget what it was that was suppose to get God so uppity and all high and mighty about.

    Posted by: StevyD | May 22, 2013 12:48:35 PM


  3. this doesn't surprise me, at least not from the larger metros in tn.

    it's only the smaller rural communities, with the hellfire sermons every sunday, that will slow this progress. you know, all those "loving christians".

    Posted by: northalabama | May 22, 2013 1:43:20 PM


  4. Making progress even in red states like Tennessee, Arizona and Texas. I think a lot of it is that people see where things are heading and want to get on the bus too, don't want to stick out as ignorant. But a lot of it is simply that people see that we don't bite, we're human beings, and whether or not they like homosexuality or not, that all human beings deserve equal rights. We've gotten to a point where, at the very least, most people recognize us as human. And most people aren't so evil as to believe that their fellow human deserves nothing. I think most are fair minded and that's what we're seeing with these poll numbers.

    Unfortunately, marriage equality isn't realistically coming in these red states anytime soon.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 22, 2013 1:46:54 PM


  5. Making progress even in red states like Tennessee, Arizona and Texas. I think a lot of it is that people see where things are heading and want to get on the bus too, don't want to stick out as ignorant. But a lot of it is simply that people see that we don't bite, we're human beings, and whether or not they like homosexuality or not, that all human beings deserve equal rights. We've gotten to a point where, at the very least, most people recognize us as human. And most people aren't so evil as to believe that their fellow human deserves nothing. I think most are fair minded and that's what we're seeing with these poll numbers.

    Unfortunately, marriage equality isn't realistically coming in these red states anytime soon.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 22, 2013 1:46:54 PM


  6. 51% of Tennesseeans think Satan is an eastern European Count with a pointed tail and horns.

    Posted by: David Hearne | May 22, 2013 1:57:06 PM


  7. @David Hearne, I live in Tennessee and that's a d@mn LIE!

    51% of Tennesseans believe that Satan lives in the White House and was born in Kenya, so get your facts straight, bub! ;-)

    Posted by: Caliban | May 22, 2013 2:08:33 PM


  8. don't forget the trident!

    Posted by: northalabama | May 22, 2013 2:10:14 PM


  9. The problem is no matter what the polls say,the people in power will not allow gay marriage in their life times.
    If Section 3 of DOMA is struck down,the lawsuits will be flying sooner versus later and will end up in the federal courts again.
    And IMO,that is the only way many of these bans will be defeated.

    Posted by: Kevin | May 22, 2013 2:24:16 PM


  10. Tennessee has come a long way in a short time, in many ways it mirrors way more progressive states. I know gays and lesbians living very comfortably even in not so metropolitan areas (Sevierville - Home of Dollywood, Knoxville has a huge gay population, Chattanooga just elected the first openly gay city councilman in TN history and has a newly elected democratic mayor, even neighboring Blue Ridge, GA is a mecca for gay people). Don't mistake the south for what it used to be, Grandpa may have had some polluted ideas but it ain't his south anymore. And we realize what needs to change and are embarassed by some of our states past misdeeds. The "old boys club" is fast fading along with the dispersal of wealth. It also has a ton to gain from advancing gay rights, Tennessee is gaining new employers and population all the time with a central location that isn't far from many neighboring states, while not having a state income tax. If Tennessee could put aside the need to relect the values of other less progressive neighboring states, get competitive, and offer new arriving citizens as well as it's own an equal standard of living, it could be a force to be reckoned with in the health care and technology employment sectors just to name a couple.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | May 22, 2013 3:02:30 PM


  11. I think that unfortunately, a lot of this is the Bradley effect. But even if support for SSM is at 40% in a Southern state that is good news. These will be the hardest states to win over, and if support continues to grow at about 2% a year, parity would be achieved in about a decade. At that point an amendment could be introduced to overturn the state constitutional ban. Unless the SCOTUS intervenes, which seems unlikely to me. They won't want another Roe v. Wade on their hands.

    Posted by: Mary | May 22, 2013 3:07:17 PM


  12. The voters in Tennessee are, in the majority, older more stuck in their mindset people. I've seen the nursing home buses lined up at the polls. The young in Tennessee don't see the benefit of voting and could care less at times it seems, which is beginning to change with the inspiration of other more progressive states. Time is on our side though as the generational shift is occuring quickly in TN.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | May 22, 2013 3:11:58 PM


  13. Stay red TN.

    Marriage is one man/one woman. Not two men...not two women...not a one man and a coffee table...not a transgender and a goldfish...or whatever other sick combination may be coming next.

    I have faith in the red and purple states to do the right thing and not spit on the institution of marriage because a bunch of liberal kooks don't believe in boundaries.

    Posted by: Uyun | May 22, 2013 3:47:26 PM


  14. @ Uyun, when you have to equate human beings with inanimate objects to make your argument, you lose all credibility.
    It's reassuring to see this after having to defend my home every time some asshat like Campfield causes a lot of you to lump us all under the same mindset.

    Posted by: RHR IN TN | May 22, 2013 4:24:14 PM


  15. This poll is horrible. 46% support no legal recognition at all. This number is much higher than most polls I see that offer both civil unions and marriage as choices. And when you combine the CU and marriage numbers you still don't get to 50%! What this polls says is only 32% support equality, 46% oppose it, and 22% are undecided. We still have a long long way to go in Tennessee.

    Posted by: Ken | May 23, 2013 12:44:54 AM


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