By Peter J. Smith

LANSING, Michigan, June 9, 2009 ( – According to a recent poll, support for natural marriage has slipped substantially in the state of Michigan, where residents still favor preserving the traditional definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but now by a razor-thin margin.

The Detroit Free Press reports that a Glengariff poll of 600 registered voters shows just 48 percent of Michiganders favored preserving the definition of marriage enshrined in the state constitution, while 46.5 percent responded in favor of legalizing same-sex “marriage.”

The 2009 Glengariff poll taken between May 27-29 has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points; but a comparison with another poll taken before the state passed a 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriage” indicates a substantial shift in public opinion in favor of same-sex “marriage.”

“Gay marriage is now where civil unions were five years ago,” Glengariff pollster Richard Czuba told the Detroit Free Press.

Back in October 2004, the Chicago-based Glengariff group took a poll of Michiganders that showed 61 percent supported the true definition of marriage, whereas only 24 percent wanted to legalize same-sex “marriage.” That represents a significant decline in public opinion over five years for natural marriage.

When voters approved Proposal 2 in the November 2004 referendum, which banned not only same-sex “marriage” but also civil unions, the final vote was 58 percent in favor, and 42 percent against. The amendment indicated that unlike other contracts or economic arrangements like domestic partnerships, the institution of marriage is uniquely geared toward the generation of children and their education in a family with a father and a mother.

Proposal 2 read: “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.”

According to the 2009 Glengariff poll, 63.7 percent of Michigan voters now favor legalizing marriage-like civil unions for same-sex couples, with 31.1 percent opposed. Also, 57.5 percent favored allowing same-sex couples to adopt children, while 35.9 percent disapproved.