A slim majority of voters living in states where gay and lesbian couples are not allowed to marry support gay marriage.

According to a survey of 800 registered voters conducted in early December by the research firm Anzalone Liszt Grove and paid for by Freedom to Marry, 51 percent of respondents favor allowing gay couples to marry, while 41 percent remain opposed.

“The findings of today's poll show that support for the freedom to marry in America is not limited to coastal states or politically liberal states, or even states that have ended discrimination,” Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said in an emailed statement. “Instead, Americans all across the country have opened their hearts and minds and followed their values of fairness and freedom to move in support of the freedom to marry. This accelerating nationwide support lines up with the legal victories we've seen in more conservative states, including Utah and Oklahoma, and explains why the reaction to these court rulings was largely positive. America is ready for the freedom to marry.”

Support is highest in the central states of Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin, where supporters outnumber opponents by a 23 point margin (59% support – 36% oppose). In the western states of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming, 53 percent of voters support marriage equality, while 34 percent remain opposed. In the South – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky – voters are evenly split at 46 percent.

A majority of voters (56%), regardless of their stance on the issue, believe it is likely that marriage equality will be legal in their state in a couple of years.

And an overwhelming majority (78%) believes marriage equality will have either a minimal impact or a positive impact on them personally. Twenty-one percent believe its legalization will have a negative impact on them personally.