STATUS: Anti-marriage recognition constitutional amendment
TAKE ACTION: State advocacy groups are working toward fairness for all of Tennessee's families by overturning a constitutional amendment that prohibits the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in the state.
HISTORY: In 2006, anti-gay forces in Tennessee pushed through Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage. State statutes in Tennessee effectively disallow civil unions or domestic partnerships between same-sex couples by affirming that marriage (between one man and one woman) is the only legally recognized marital contract.
GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:
- Tennessee Equality Project is a statewide organization dedicated to promote and sustain the equality of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons in the state of Tennessee.
- Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
- Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.
POLLING DATA: Support for the freedom to marry has doubled in the past 8 years, with 32% of the state's residents now supporting marriage. In 2004, just 18% were supportive. (Williams Institute, 2012)
NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES: According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 10,898 same-sex couples are living in Tennessee, representing 4.4 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.
Blog Posts Related to Tennessee
Last month, Matthew and Raymie participated in the Campaign for Southern Equality's "We Do" campaign by requesting a marriage license in Tennessee. After being denied the license, Raymie delivered a rousing, moving speech about why he wants to be able to call Matthew his husband. Watch the video here.
For the past week, the Campaign for Southern Equality has been touring across the South with its "We Do" campaign, where same-sex couples request marriage licenses and provoke denials in order to illustrate the discriminatory marriage laws in these states. Check out stories and video from the campaign!
Rick Jacobs of Courage Campaign discusses the California Prop 8 Trial in terms of his own past and recounts the experience of blogging live from the courtroom where the trial took place in January.
Jacobs: "But in order to succeed fully, to propel the nation where it's headed anyway, we need to tell the story of the trial and we need to tell our own stories. We need to testify."
Resources Related to Tennessee
Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Tennessee.
Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".