US: Studies show majority of voters support equal marriage in Michigan and Virginia
Polls in two more US states have found that a majority of voters support equal marriage, as Michigan and Virginia join states with a majority in support.
A poll of 600 Michigan voters run by the Glengariff Group found that 56.8% of voters said they supported equal marriage, a percentage which had risen by 12.5% since a year ago.
The Detroit News attributed the changes to changing Republican attitudes, and noted a stark contrast between the results of the poll and the 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment banning equal marriage. A poll in 2004 found that only 24% supported equal marriage.
This year’s poll also showed that 90% of voters approved some legal rights for gay couples. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a policy question move as quickly as this one,” said Richard Czuba, president of Glengariff.
A second poll by the Washington Post found that 56% of voters in Virginia approved equal marriage, a percentage up from 46% two years ago.
Back in 2006, 57% of voters in the state chose to approve a similar constitutional amendment to Michigan, which also banned same-sex marriage in the state.
The Post also attributed the shift to changing Republican views, with 40% in favour of equal marriage. It also noted that the percentage saying equal marriage should be banned had dropped from 86% in 2006 to 47% now.
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A Gallup poll released earlier this week found that despite there being 53% of Americans who support legal recognition of equal marriage, two thirds of US citizens hold the perception that overall the US public is opposed to same-sex marriage.
The poll found that 55% of Arizonans were in favour of equal marriage, with 35% opposed and 10% were unsure.
Mr Dayton signed the bill into law on Tuesday at 17:00 local time using eight separate pens. It will allow same-sex weddings to take place from 1 August.
Citing the US Constitution, Mr Dayton said: “The right to liberty certainly includes marrying the one you love.”
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