A majority of Uruguayans say they support gay marriage as lawmakers debate the issue.

According to Montevideo, Uruguay-based El Pais, 53 percent of respondents to a recent poll approve of the legalization of marriage equality, while 32 percent remain opposed. Fifteen percent refused to answer.

The survey results come a week after Uruguay's lower house, La Camara de Diputados, approved a gay marriage bill. Eighty-one of the eighty-seven lawmakers present voted in favor of the measure.

The proposed reform, which seeks to modify some 20 articles of the Civil Code, now goes to the Senate, where it has sufficient support to pass. President Jose Mujican has said he'll sign the bill into law.

“People who are more socially and culturally liberal are the most supportive,” political scientist Luis Eduardo Gonzalez said on national television.

A large majority people under the age of 45 support marriage equality. Sixty-eight percent for those under the age of 30, and 67 percent for those between 30 and 45.

People with a college degree are more supportive than those without.

If the marriage law is approved, Uruguay, which currently recognizes gay couples with civil unions, would become only the second South American country after Argentina to legalize marriage equality.

(Related: Mexican state Oaxaca to legalize gay marriage.)