A new poll released Friday finds 56
percent of Americans believe gay marriage should be legal.
New York Times and CBS News surveyed 1,644 adults by
telephone on a wide range of issues.
Fifty-six percent of respondents agreed
that gay couples should be allowed to marry, while 39 percent remain
A large majority (70%) of Democrats
support marriage equality, versus only 40 percent of Republicans.
However, a majority (56%) of Republicans under 44 support the
institution. Democrats under 44 nearly universally (85%) are in
While polls showing majority support
for allowing gay couples to marry date back to 2010, Friday's poll
sets a new high in terms of support.
Pollsters also found that 64 percent of
Americans believe that laws determining whether same-sex marriage is
legal should be left to each individual state to decide, rather than
the federal government.
More Democrats (43%) than Republicans
(20%) said that the federal government should decide the issue.
Also, a majority (53%) of Americans
said that they would not vote for a candidate who holds an opposite
view than theirs on same-sex marriage.