A large majority of Coloradans support either marriage or civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, a poll has found.

The SurveyUSA poll of 695 likely voters commissioned by the Denver Post shows 36 percent of respondents support marriage for gay couples while 32 percent favor civil unions. Twenty-seven percent oppose any legal recognition of the relationships of gay couples, while 6 percent refused to answer.

While a larger share of respondents support marriage over civil unions, a 2006 ballot measure that amended the Colorado Constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual union prohibits lawmakers from enacting such a law.

For two years in a row, Republican leaders in the House have blocked passage of a civil unions bill after it cleared the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The rights and responsibilities offered by civil unions vary from state to state, but tend to be fewer than those offered by marriage.

Several polls in May showed support for civil unions at slightly above fifty percent when the question was asked independently. Saturday's poll suggests that as many as 68 percent of Coloradans support passage of a civil unions law, creating a possible political liability for lawmakers who have worked against the issue.

(Source: Denver Post.)