POLL: Majority of Michigan Favors Gay Marriage, Up 12.5% From Last Year

Motor_City_Pride_2011_-_participants_-_057Support for same-sex marriage in Michigan has increased to 56.8 percent, a 12.5 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new statewide poll.

The poll, conducted by the Chicago-based Glengariff Group on  600 registered voters, found that 54 percent would repeal Michigan’s ban on same-sex unions and replace it with an amendment allowing marriage equality.

The Detroit News reports:

The poll, which was conducted from May 8 to Friday, found at least 90 percent of Michigan voters favor some legal protections for homosexuals, while at least 65 percent favor changes to laws allowing for civil unions, inheritance rights, adoption, domestic benefits and hate crime protections. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.[…]

Support for it increased among voters who identify themselves as Republicans to 36.5 percent this year from 20 percent last year. It rose to 50.6 percent from 36 percent among independents and to 75 percent from 71 percent among Democrats over the same period, the poll found.

A majority of younger voters favor same-sex marriage. Regionally, support is strongest in southeast Michigan, the poll found. It was weakest in western Michigan, 42 percent, and mid-Michigan, 38 percent.

Weekly churchgoers were the biggest opponents — with 58 percent against the marriages, the poll found.

Now consider a similar poll from 2004 when Michigan passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions. That poll found that only 24% of Michigan voters supported gay marriage.  “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a policy question move as quickly as this one,” said Glengariff president Richard Czuba.

A number of factors contributed to the shift, which has been felt nationwide, including  increased visibility, increased acceptance and bipartisan support. However, the GOP-controlled legislature has blocked efforts to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the state’s non-discrimination law, the Elliott Larsen Act. Similar legislation is planned, as is a push for the repeal of the ban on the 2016 ballot.

With neighboring Midwestern stalwart Minnesota becoming the 12th state to legalize gay marriage, is it much longer before LGBT Michiganders are taking a gander at wedding registries?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons — Equality Michigan