A majority of Iowa Republican caucus-goers support either marriage or civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, a New York Times/CBS NEWS poll found.

When pollsters asked, “Which comes closest to your view? Gay couples should be allowed to legally marry OR gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry OR there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship?” twenty-two percent of respondents answered “marry,” thirty-six percent “civil unions,” thirty-eight percent “no legal recognition” and 3 percent refused to answer.

The survey of 642 people “who are registered Republicans or Independents who said they were definitely or probably going to attend the Republican Iowa Presidential caucus” was conducted between November 30 and December 5.

A majority (67%) of respondents identified as Republican and 31% percent as independents. Seventy percent said they were married and only six percent said they had divorced.

A large percentage of respondents (87%) said they were religious (58% Protestant, 23% Catholic, 6% other).

The results arrive as GOP candidates Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are increasing their anti-gay messages in an effort to appeal to the two-thirds of Iowa voters who say they remain open to changing their minds.

Gay marriage has been legal in Iowa since 2009.