The news media favors supporters of gay marriage, a new study by the Pew Research Center has found.

Researchers reported that “stories with more statements supporting same-sex marriage outweighed those with more statements opposing it by a margin of roughly 5-to-1.”

Of the nearly 500 stories studied from March 18 through May 12, 47 percent were deemed to be supportive, 9 percent opposed, and 44 percent mixed. Stories in which neither statements in favor of marriage equality nor statements opposed to it outnumbered the opposite view by at least 2-to-1 were deemed to be neutral, or mixed.

Researchers noted that supporters had a more consistent message than opponents. Forty-nine percent of stories quoted supporters arguing that marriage equality was an issue of fairness.

The most common argument against was the idea that marriage equality would hurt society or harm heterosexual marriage, which was cited in 18 percent of stories. Other arguments included casting homosexuality as immoral and that the government should not redefine marriage to include gay couples.

“Certainly it is evident in these findings the degree to which supporters of same-sex marriage were largely successful in getting their message out in a clear way, a consistent way, across a wide swath of the news media,” said Pew's Amy Mitchell.

Other findings included more time spent on the issue by commentators who favored gay nuptials than those who opposed them.