29 November 2015

Tennessee Voted Against Same-Sex Marriage

Tennessee Vote
A much-more credible and latest survey showed that a majority of Tennessee voters are against letting same-sex couples marry.

A new poll from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) revealed that a little more than half of people surveyed think abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. The poll results show that Tennesseans' thinking on two of the most controversial state issues have not changed despite court rulings and national discussion, and that debate in the Volunteer State is likely to continue.

Ken Blake, director of the poll, said the results are in line with prior surveys, and attitudes on both issues fell along religious and political lines.

"Reflecting patterns in previous MTSU polls, opposition to the legality of both same-sex marriage and abortion runs highest among Tennessee's evangelical Christian and Republican voters," he said in a prepared statement released by the Murfreesboro university. "In both groups, sizable majorities think it should be unlawful for same-sex couples to marry and think abortion should be illegal in most or all cases."

Fifty-seven percent of people polled oppose gay marriage. A February poll, also conducted by MTSU, found that 55 percent of Tennesseans were against same-sex marriages.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. It led to swift compliance in the Volunteer State. Top Republicans Gov. Bill Haslam and Attorney General Herbert Slatery said they disagreed with the ruling, but urged compliance.

Not everyone jumped on board.

Conservative lawmakers proposed legislation that would, they say, nullify the ruling of the nation's highest court. The Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act seeks to keep Tennessee's definition of legal marriage as one man and one woman.

Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, filed the bill in September. It is a work in progress, Pody said, and lawyers are drafting language of the bill and looking for potential loopholes in the U.S. Supreme Court opinion and dissent.

"We understand that this is going to be under very close court scrutiny," Pody said. "We understand it could end up back in court somewhere, so we want to make sure it would stand up."

He said the newest polling numbers were encouraging for those efforts.

"I think it’s a great sign," he said. "It's saying that Tennesseans want us to do something and stand up and support what they believe in and the values of Tennesseans."

Poll Results

Middle Tennessee State University conducted a telephone poll of 603 registered voters between Oct. 25 and Oct. 27. The poll's random sample was adjusted by quotas of gender and geography to get a representative sample of the population.

Same-sex Marriage:
  • 57 percent oppose (18 percent oppose, 39 percent strongly oppose)
  • 29 percent favor (18 percent favor, 11 percent strongly favor)
  • 14 percent don't know or declined to answer