Willie Nelson an Gay Marriage


Country music legend Willie Nelson sat down with Texas Monthly to talk about, among other things, gay marriage. He doesn’t say anything that hasn’t been said before a thousand times, but this part of the exchange is amusing:

TM: You’ve been a supporter of LBGT issues over the years. Outspoken even.

WN: I never had a problem with any of it. I’ve known straight and gay people all my life. I can’t tell the difference. People are people where I came from.

TM: But where you came from was small town Texas in the thirties and forties. Was Abbott more forward-thinking than we give it credit for?

WN: We were a lot like New York City. [laughs] With shorter buildings.


FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Popular Culture, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Hello World! says:

    I don’t know why small towns have a reputation for intollerance. I know of dozrns of small towns that I’ve been to that are more progressive and friendly than the largest cities: Ashville, New Hope PA, Sperryville VA, Mezzula MO…

  2. James Joyner says:

    @Hello World!: Small towns can often be quite provincial, whereas big cities tend to constantly draw people for far-flung places, diversifying their attitudes. When I lived in Bainbridge, Georgia or Troy, Alabama, I didn’t know any openly gay people. In the DC area, I know lots.

  3. Mark Ivey says:

    Excellent Willie Nelson pic.. 🙂

  4. ernieyeball says:

    Over 35 years I have travelled to 14 States plying my trade in the Telephone Industry. From Houston, Texas to Texas City, Illinois.
    Los Angeles, California to Clarence, Missouri.
    Everywhere I went it was always the people in the next town down the road whose women were whores, the men all had square heads and they all married their cousins.
    Of course when I got to the next town down the road I was asked how I liked working in Grubville, where I had just come from as it was common knowledge that they all ate bugs, smoked dope and didn’t bother getting married since they were all decended from goats.
    And they all raised the Stars and Stripes on the gradeschool flagpole every morning.

  5. ernieyeball says:

    @ernieyeball: …descended…

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @Hello World!: Exactly, I’m from small town (about 10,000 people) north of San Francisco), that is very progressive, and voted over 70% for Obama.

  7. I always knew who was gay and who wasn’t, who did drugs and who didn’t, who cheated on their wife/husband and who did not. In small towns people don’t need to be openly anything because most everyone knows who and what you are regardless about your talking about it. And for the most part, they don’t care, look at it all as being none of their business. Some may have strong personal opinions when they talk, but when it comes to every day life they live and let live in small towns, just like everywhere else. The idea of urban superiority is fatuous.

  8. Davebo says:

    The advantage of small towns?

    Everyone is looking out for you.

    The disadvantages?

    Everyone is looking out for you. That and the restaurants tend to suck.

    Seriously. I just moved from a small town back to the city and I can assure you all of my old neighbors have opinions on how much I earned, whether I beat my wife or not, etc. They loved to get together and talk about the neighbors provided those neighbors weren’t around at the time. I grew up in a small town, made one mistake moving to the country for 2 years and I’ll never go back.

  9. matt says:

    Willie Nelson and Gay Marriage

    I still have a few facebook friends who seem to think that I’m outrageously discriminating against them by supporting gay rights..