New polls show a majority of Michigan voters approve of a ballot
proposal which would amend the state constitution to ban gay
marriage.

The Lansing-based Marketing Resource Group reported Tuesday that
61 percent of registered Michigan voters support a constitutional
amendment to ban gay marriage. Thirty-three percent oppose it and 6
percent are undecided.

An earlier poll conducted by the Gallup Organization showed
support for the Michigan amendment, which will be on the Nov. 2
ballot, at 51 percent.

State residents will get to vote on gay marriage now that the
Michigan Court of Appeals has allowed a ballot initiative to go
forward.

LSA freshman Adam Gleicher said gay marriage shouldn’t be
a ballot issue.

“I think it’s pretty offensive and
ridiculous,” Gleicher said. “I really don’t
understand why people feel so threatened by gay marriage. I’m
straight and don’t feel threatened by it at all. I hope that
Ann Arbor will stand out and send a message that we’re
tolerant here.”

The Michigan numbers are slightly higher than those in a
national poll conducted by CNN/USA Today/Gallup in July that showed
48 percent supported an amendment to the U.S. Constitution keeping
marriage as a “union of a man and a woman.”

President Bush backs a federal amendment, while Democratic
nominee for president John Kerry opposes it.

“Activist courts have left the people with one recourse.
If we’re to prevent the meaning of marriage from being
changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional amendment
to protect marriage in America,” Bush said in February when
he announced his backing of the U.S. marriage amendment.

He proposed the amendment after courts in Massachusetts and
California began allowing gays to marry earlier this year.

Kerry countered in his Democratic convention acceptance speech
“let’s never misuse for political purposes the most
precious document in American history, the Constitution.”

Both candidates are opposed to gay marriage, but Kerry back
civil unions at the state level. Their differences over an
amendment may become a key issue the presidential election.

These ballot initiates may increase turnout among pro-Bush
voters, putting the president over the top in states that are
closely contested.

More than dozen states, including Michigan and the battlegrounds
of Missouri, Ohio and Oregon, have succeeded in placing gay
marriage amendments on the ballot.

Battleground states may swing into Bush’s win column come
Nov. 2 if voters come to the polls to vote against gay marriage and
for the president.

Many states have laws defining marriage as a union between a man
and a woman, but they are open to judicial review by the courts.
Amendments to the constitution would prevent overturns by
courts.

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