LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - A new poll suggests 57 percent of the citizens in Michigan now favor gay marriage, which is a complete reversal from 2004 when a majority of voters decided to ban gay marriage in the state.
A majority of residents in 2004 wrote into the Michigan Constitution, a ban on gay marriage and the only way to change that is to change the constitution. The GOP Speaker of the Michigan House, Jase Bolger, says he will not do that.
"The people of Michigan answered that definitively when they defined marriage in our constitution," said Bolger. "I don't have any plans to revisit that."
But liberal democrats like Rep. Jeff Irwin and Rep. Vicki Barnett point to new polling data suggesting the mood on gay marriage in Michigan is moving.
The poll, which was not commissioned by either side, suggested 57 percent favor gay marriage, with 38 percent opposed, which is a 13 point jump from a year ago.
"I think it's discrimination not to allow people of the same sex to get married who love each other and want to build a life together," said Barnett.
"Marriage is not just about love, but is about what God has ordained as a union between a man and a woman," said Rep. Ed McBroom.
There is a generational and geographical divide on this. 69 percent in Oakland County, 66 percent in Macomb County and 59 percent in the Upper Peninsula are all in favor. But in southwest and West Michigan, only 42 percent agree and in mid-Michigan its 37 percent.
Backers of gay marriage are looking at a statewide vote in 2016 via a petition drive, why start earlier.
"Trying to win, you need time to prepare a campaign, time to gather signatures and the resources and the volunteers to make it happen," said Rep. Jeff Irwin.
But conservatives believe the increase in public support has only grown 6 percent, not 13 percent since 2004, so the movement may not be as robust as the advocates suggest.
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