A new poll showing majority support for gay marriage in Ohio has increased the divide among activists in the state.

According to the September Washington Post polls, a slim majority (52%) of Ohioans now support marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. Thirty-seven percent remain opposed.

Freedom to Marry Ohio, the group spearheading the effort to repeal Ohio's 2004 constitutional amendment banning such unions, cheered the news.

Ian James, the group's founder, cited the poll as further evidence of a shift in attitude among Ohioans on the issue.

“This poll proves it's not too early,” James told Cleveland's WVIZ. “The polling proves that this is the right time to move forward.”

But the state's largest gay rights advocate, Equality Ohio, dismissed the survey, saying that a large majority is needed to win on marriage equality.

“It's not yet at a number where I would feel comfortable bringing it to the voters in Ohio,” said interim President Kim Welter, adding that voters often “tell pollsters one thing but then do something else when they go to the ballot box.”

National groups are also keeping their distance. Neither HRC nor Freedom to Marry, which is not associated with Freedom to Marry Ohio, have yet to back the effort in Ohio.

Freedom to Marry Ohio must collect roughly 385,000 valid signatures from at least half of Ohio's 88 counties to get the proposal on next year's ballot.