A majority of Nebraska voters favor legal recognition of the unions of gay and lesbian couples.

According to a World-Herald poll of 800 registered voters, a majority of Nebraskans support either marriage (32%) or civil unions (22%) for gay couples. Seven percent either said they were undecided or refused to answer.

In 2000, Nebraskan voters overwhelmingly (70%) approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union.

“That's what's going on around the country,” Greg Petrow, an associate professor of political science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, told the paper. “There's no reason to think that pattern wouldn't hold in Omaha.”

“It's becoming increasingly clear to all Nebraskans that equal rights for the GLBT community are an absolute necessity,” said Craig Moody of the group VOICE Omaha.

Support was highest among people under age 35, women, and registered Democrats.

“Sometimes people's attitudes change very glacially,” added Petrow. “That's not what's happening here. People now support gay marriage who 10 years ago did not.”