A new poll from Middle Tennessee State University shows that a solid 62 percent of Tennesseans oppose marriage equality, while only 28 percent in favor. This opposition is significantly higher than is often found across several southern states. Nevertheless, 57 percent also oppose the odious “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prohibits schools from discussing sexual orientation until after 8th grade — which includes related anti-bullying efforts — and only 31 percent support it. Additionally, 49 percent oppose the bill’s new provision requiring school officials to notify parents of students’ sexuality, while only 33 percent such a provision. Interestingly a position on marriage was not necessarily predictive of a position on the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.
It seems clear that Tennessee is a particularly toxic place for LGBT people, but even so, even Tennesseans realize that the outright censorship of homosexuality and violation of young people’s privacy are wrong.