Poll: opposition to gay marriage in Tennessee
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 8:00 pm
MURFREESBORO — Opposition to gay marriage is more widespread in Tennessee than nearly anywhere else in the country, high even compared to other states in the South, a look at Middle Tennessee State University poll findings suggests.
Nationwide, 43 percent of Americans oppose legalizing gay marriage, while 48 percent support the move, according to polling done throughout 2012 by the Pew Center for the People and the Press.
That’s a steep decline in opposition compared to the 51 percent nationwide who opposed legalizing gay marriage in 2008 and the 60 percent who opposed it nationwide in 2004.
Last fall’s MTSU Poll of registered voters in Tennessee, however, found 61 percent opposed to legalizing gay marriage and only 24 percent in favor, with the remaining 15 percent unsure, a level of opposition significantly higher than even the 56 percent opposition Pew reported to be typical of the South Central region that includes Tennessee as well as Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.
“It’s unusual for Tennessee opinion to diverge this sharply from national norms,” said Ken Blake, Ph.D., director of the MTSU Poll. “Throughout the MTSU Poll’s nearly 15-year history, we’ve often found Tennesseans holding moderately conservative views compared to the rest of the nation, particularly on social issues. But this is an exceptionally large difference.”
Published in The WCP 2.14.13