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Michigan's changing view of gay marriage

A new poll shows a majority of Michiganders support gay marriage.

8 years ago, 59% of Michigan voters approved a state constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage and civil unions.

But Michigan State University researchers say a poll has found 56% of Michiganders are now in favor of gay marriage.    The poll of more than a thousand Michiganders turn place between mid-June and mid-August.

Charles Ballard is the director of the State of the State Survey.  He says there remains a core of people ‘Strongly Opposed’ to gay marriage.

“But those who in the past were …’Well, I’m kind of not comfortable with that’….have now moved over to…’Well, OK, that’s alright,’”  says Ballard,  “Not a strong feeling either way…but they’ve moved from a ‘Somewhat Negative’ to ‘Somewhat Positive’ …I think that’s what probably going on in a lot of cases.”

Despite the public opinion shift, Ballard doubts Michigan will move to repeal its same sex marriage ban any time soon.

Ballard says the survey showed sharp differences on gay marriage between Whites and Blacks, religious and non-religious, and rich and poor.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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