About half of Tennesseans support
recognizing the relationships of gay and lesbian couples with either
marriage or civil unions.
According to a poll released this month
for Vanderbilt University, 49 percent of respondents support either
marriage or civil unions for gay couples, while 46 percent remain
opposed to both.
Sixty-two percent of respondents also
believe that the spouses of domestic partners should receive health
insurance and other employee benefits. Thirty-one percent disagreed.
“This is kind of consistent with the
national trend,” Josh Clinton, associate professor of political
science at Vanderbilt, told The
In 2006, 81 percent of Tennessee voters
approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a
Chris Sanders, president of gay rights
group the Tennessee Equality Project, applauded the findings.
“Tennesseans are traditional – they
are standing by their religious view of marriage – but they are not
cruel,” Sanders said. “Tennesseans are looking for a way to help
people and protect their conservative view at the same time.”