Gay rights groups in Chile on Wednesday described a new poll showing majority support for gay marriage as a “giant leap for equality.”

According to the poll of 501 nationwide households conducted by Radio Cooperativa e Imaginaccion, 54.9 percent of Chileans support gay nuptials, while 40.7 percent remain opposed.

The survey “reflects a broad and mainstream acceptance” of such unions, said El Movimiento de Integracion y Liberacion Homosexual (Movilh), the nation's largest gay rights advocate.

“[T]he 54.9% approval of marriage between persons of the same sex is a clear sign of openness, which must be analyzed, understood and accepted by the government and to move forward in advancing approval of such unions,” the group added.

A gay marriage bill introduced more than two years ago by Senator Fulvio Rossi has yet to be debated.

Other bills on the subject have also been introduced since then, including one which would legalize civil unions for gay and lesbian couples and another which seeks to ban gay marriage.