A poll released Monday for the first time found greater support for marriage equality than opposition in North Carolina.

Pollsters at Elon University surveyed more than 1,000 likely voters for its Elon University Poll.

Forty-five percent of respondents said they support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, while forty-three percent said they remain opposed. Twelve percent refused to answer.

“Support for gay marriage has picked up 4 percentage points since a spring poll and opposition has dropped 3 percentage points,” Elon University said in releasing its findings. “It is the first time that Elon University Poll has found support for gay marriage to be greater than opposition, though it is within the margin of error.”

After a federal appeals court in July struck down Virginia's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that he will no longer defend the law in court. North Carolina is in the same circuit as Virginia.

Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, said the poll's results “simply reflect the dramatic momentum in support of the LGBT community we see every day in every corner of the Tar Heel state.”

“This poll should signal a clarion call to North Carolina leaders that the constituent demand for full LGBT equality is not an 'if' proposition, but a 'when,'” he added.