Support for legalizing gay marriage in Maine has increased.

Gay marriage advocates have returned the issue to the ballot after voters in 2009 narrowly repealed a marriage law approved by lawmakers with a “people's veto,” known as Question 1.

According to a new survey of 993 Maine voters released Friday by the Maine People's Resource Center, 58.2 percent of respondents indicated support for marriage equality, while 39.9 are opposed. Two percent refused to answer. The poll has a margin of error of 3.11 percentage points.

A Public Polling Policy survey released last month also found a majority (54%) of Maine voters in favor, while 41 percent said gay marriage should remain illegal.

Support for the institution among Democrats has increased 7 percentage points since 2009, from 71 percent to 78 percent, the PPP survey found. Support has also grown among independents, from 52 percent to 57 percent. Republican support, however, remains where it was three years ago.

The polls come on the heels of the announcement that the Diocese of Maine will not campaign against the referendum. Instead, the Roman Catholic church will teach Catholics about how it defines marriage.