A majority of Michigan residents
support gay marriage, a new poll has found.
According to a Michigan State
University (MSU) poll released Friday, 54 percent of respondents
support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, while 36 remain
Results are in line with a similar
State of the State survey the university conducted in 2012. That
poll reported slightly higher support, 55 percent, and higher
opposition, 39 percent.
Opinions have shifted dramatically in
the state. In 2004, the year Michigan voters approved a
constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union, a
Glengariff survey found support at only 24 percent.
“Support for gay marriage has
increased in the last 20 years, in Michigan and across the country,”
Charles Ballard, MSU economics professor and director of the survey,
in releasing the poll's results. “In Michigan, it appears that
the period between 2010 and 2012 was the critical time when public
opinion shifted most dramatically in favor of gay marriage. Since
the results in 2012 and 2014 are fairly similar, these results
suggest that the increase in support for gay marriage is a long-term
phenomenon and not just a temporary one.”
Pollsters asked for the first time
whether gays should be allowed to adopt children. A majority (nearly
59%) of respondents agreed, while 33 said they were opposed.
A lesbian couple's lawsuit to allow
them to jointly adopt three children was expanded last year to
challenge Michigan's marriage ban. A judge in Detroit is expected to
conclude a two-week trial on Thursday.
gay marriage trial looks at gender roles, procreation.)