Thursday, June 18, 2009

Massive shift in Michigan

The Detroit Free Press reports,
In what Glengariff Group pollster Richard Czuba describes as a seismic shift in public opinion, even support for gay marriage has nearly doubled since a similar poll in 2004. That poll was conducted before voters approved an amendment to the Michigan Constitution defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

In October 2004, a Glengariff poll showed 24% of Michiganders supported marriage rights for same-sex partners, and only 42% supported legal recognition of civil unions. In the new poll, support for same sex marriage was 46.5% and for civil unions 63.7%. Forty-eight percent of state voters said they opposed adding marriage rights, the only one of nine gay rights issues not winning majority support....

Czuba said a shift in opinion was evident in almost every demographic group, including self-identified Republicans. He attributed much of the change to the sharply higher number of poll respondents who said they know a gay or lesbian person in 2009 (80.2%) compared with in 2004 (56%).

Well, that's just marvelous, isn't it? The problem is that before they had their equal rights epiphany, the voters of Michigan passed a broadly-worded Constitutional Amendment against same-sex marriage, which the court has interpreted to say bars civil unions, health benefits for same-sex partners, and other fundamental protections. Which, some believe, has further damaged the economy of a badly damaged state, by making it inhospitable to the "creative class".

So now what, Michigan?

Seems a Michigan lawmaker is making the first move:
The proposal announced by State Rep. Pam Byrnes faces an uphill climb. Michigan voters in 2004 passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, effectively banning the legal recognition of same-sex marriage.....The joint resolution by the Democrat from Washtenaw County's Lyndon Township would have to be approved by two-thirds of the Michigan Legislature before it would be put to voters in the 2010 election.
Good luck with that. Chances are pretty bad.

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