LANSING, Mich. – A poll of Michigan voters has found 61 percent support a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Citizens for the Protection of Marriage (search) submitted more than 475,000 signatures on July 5 to put the issue on the November Michigan ballot. Both backers and opponents of a proposed amendment to the Michigan Constitution say it would also ban civil unions.
The state Board of Canvassers is reviewing the petition signatures to determine if at least 317,757 are valid, which would meet the requirement for a spot on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The ballot language says, "To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose."
The poll of 600 people conducted Tuesday through Thursday by EPIC/MRA found that 34 percent said they opposed a constitutional amendment and 5 percent said they were undecided. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Forty-three percent said same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry but should be allowed to enter into civil unions. Seventeen percent said gay couples should be allowed to marry while 36 percent said same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry or form civil unions, and 4 percent were undecided, the Detroit Free Press said Monday.
Civil unions afford the same benefits as marriage in states where such unions are legal, such as Vermont. The unions, however, are not recognized federally, and federal protections given to legally married couples do not apply to civil unions.
EPIC/MRA also asked voters whether they would support a possible ballot proposal to require a statewide vote before any non-Indian gambling facilities open. Sixty-eight percent favored the proposal, 28 percent opposed it and 4 percent were undecided. The state is checking to see if there are enough signatures on petitions seeking a November vote.