A survey finds majority support for gay marriage in New Jersey and proponents leading in Illinois.

The Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released Wednesday found 53 percent of voters in New Jersey favor legalizing gay nuptials, while 36 percent remain opposed. Illinois voters believe gay couples should be permitted to marry by a 47 - 42 margin.

More New Jersey Democrats (74%) than Republicans (65%) believe voters should be able to decide the issue. In vetoing a marriage equality law approved by lawmakers, Republican Governor Chris Christie said he wanted to put the question up to a popular vote.

And a larger number of Republicans (21%) approve of gay nuptials than Democrats (19%) who oppose it.

African-American voters in Illinois approve of such unions by a wider margin than nationally. Six in ten black voters support legalizing marriage equality, while 16 percent disagree.

Lawmakers in Illinois approved civil unions for gay couples in 2010. Legislation legalizing marriage was introduced in the House in February and could come up for debate as early as next month.

(Source: Public Policy Polling.)