A large majority of voters in Utah support some form of legal recognition of the relationships of gay and lesbian couples.

According to a new survey released from the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University, seventy-one percent of Utah voters say gay couples should be recognized with either marriage (28%) or civil unions (43%).

The percentage of Utah voters opposed to any form of legal recognition for gay couples has decreased sharply in the last eight years. In 2004, 54 percent of voters were opposed. That number dropped to 37 percent in 2009, and 35 percent in 2010. Currently, 29 percent are opposed.

“Utah is seeing the same kind of movement that we see in the United States generally,” Chris Karpowitz, a BYU political science professor and fellow at the center, told Deseret News.

“What makes Utah voters different,” Karpowitz said, is that they are moving “not toward full support of marriage equality but toward civil unions.”

According to the survey, 72 percent of Utah voters oppose gay marriage.