BY BTL STAFF
A statewide survey was conducted by EPIC-MRA among active and likely November 2018 general election voters. Legislation was introduced May 30 in Michigan that would do what the following question asked on the survey proposes:
“The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act in Michigan provides civil rights protections against discrimination based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status or marital status. Would you favor or oppose legislation to amend this law to include protection against discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity?”
The results show 48 percent strongly favor it, 20 percent somewhat favor it, 68 percent totally favor it, 25 percent totally oppose it, 8 percent somewhat oppose it, 17 percent strongly oppose it and 7 percent are undecided or refused.
Nearly 7-in-10 Michigan voters solidly support the proposal. The overall results are just about the same as the results of a question posed to Michigan voters in May of 2013, which was almost identical to the one included in the current survey. The one difference is that this question includes “sexual orientation or gender identity,” and the 2013 survey did not include “gender identity.”
“Epic-MRA offers opportunities to piggy back on statewide surveys they do and I decided I’d personally pay for this just to see where the public was,” said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan and chair of Equality Michigan’s board of directors, who commissioned the survey.
Murray points to several significant findings. While an 86 to 11 percent majority of Democrats favor the proposal, a 67 to 21 percent majority of Independents also support it, as well as a 51 to 42 percent majority of Republican voters.
As with many issues over the years, while GOP men oppose the proposal by a narrow 48 to 44 percent plurality, GOP women support it by a solid 59 to 35 percent. Tea Party supporters also favor it by 50 to 43 percent with Tea Party opponents favoring it by 79 to 16 percent and voters who are unsure about the Tea Party favoring it by 71 to 20 percent.
“Now, keep in mind this is in a vacuum and there’s no negative campaigning around it,” said Murray. “This state went for Trump so I would expect these numbers to move in a campaign scenario. However, they are a good snap shot in time that really shows the public support.”