An LGBT rights group in Michigan has
begun collecting signatures to put the issue of gay marriage on next
According to alternative weekly MLive,
Marriage Michigan PAC is working to secure the more than 300,000
signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot. The group also
aims to raise $10 million for a campaign to approve the referendum.
The group is led by Chris Surfus, an
openly gay man and student at Grand Valley State University.
“We believe that public outrage in
Lansing and statewide will allow us not only to get a Democratic
governor, but we believe we'll also be able to legalize same-sex
marriage,” Surfus said.
In 2004, 57 percent of Michigan voters
approved a constitutional amendment which limits marriage to
heterosexual couples and prevents the state from recognizing unions
other than marriage.
“In one single vote we would overturn
the 2004 ban and at the same time legalize marriage equality,”
Emily Dievendorf, policy director for
Equality Michigan, the state's largest gay rights advocate,
criticized the plan, saying 2014 was too early for such an
“2014 is just too soon for [a ballot
proposal],” she said. “Most of the state doesn't even know the
rights that LGBT citizens lack. There just wouldn't be the kind of
support necessary to pay for such an effort [in 2014].”
Dievendorf said her group was
considering a 2016 ballot proposal.