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

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  • vklortho

    Our conservative controlled state would never put it up to a vote because they knew it would pass and our state is gerrymandered so badly that I don’t think we could vote the conservatives out without a massive ideological shift in the small towns. :(

  • erikwm

    @vklortho: Voters in Michigan can initiate a constitutional amendment without the legislature. After submitting a proposed amendment, backers must collect signatures “equal in number to at least 10 percent of the total vote cast for all candidates for governor at the last preceding general election at which a governor was elected.”

    For the 2014 election, that would be 322,608 signatures.

  • FStratford

    This is what I am saying all along. For almost all US states, waiting is not the only option, in fact it’s not even the best option.

  • Dakotahgeo

    ROFL about the great shift. First, virtually no one wanted gay marriage… now they’re fighting over who gets to be next??? Oh, the joy, the atmosphere, the silliness of the religious right in the first place! Next,in Ring # 2…………

  • 1EqualityUSA

    The Tedious Right is on the wrong side of history. The internet will never let them forget what was said about our community during these stressful times. Nancy “Wiggling” Elliot of New Hampshire, Maggie Gallagher, John Boehner, Princeton’s Robert P. George and his gang of NOM-skulls, McCain, Palin, Bachmann, and all the rest, here on Gallagher’s Isle….will have their egregious words held up for scrutiny. Formaldehyde jars will house their carcasses for future generations to ogle what true discrimination and bigotry looks like. They may have to split Maggie lengthwise to get her on the shelf, but let’s hope she doesn’t regenerate, as some planarian worm, into Maggie-squared. shudder.

  • Elloreigh

    Poll, schmoll. The only poll that matters is the one at the ballot box, and opponents are way more motivated to turn out in order to vote against same-sex marriage equality than the mostly apathetic ‘supporters’ are. There are also a lot of people who only vote in the presidential election, and others who will also vote for their federal and state representatives while ignoring local issues and the ballot questions.

    I’ve seen no evidence that the big money supporters of the ban are prepared to roll over and play dead, either.

    As a reminder, Michigan’s amendment is only second to Virginia’s in its broadness, banning any agreement other than one man/one woman for any purpose. The religious right remains very much opposed to same-sex unions being granted any form of status, which they consider to be ‘sanctioning sin’, and they are a significant voting block in this state (especially on the west side of the state).

    So I ain’t holding my breath for equality to come to Michigan.

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