A new Quinnipiac University poll shows a large majority (82%) of Connecticut voters approve of gay unions. A large number (43%) of voters approved of gay marriage, while another thirty-nine percent approve of civil unions. And a slim majority (52%) agree with a state Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage there. That's a 10% increase in overall gay union approval from a similar poll conducted in February 2007.

Connecticut became the third state to allow gay marriage on October 10 when the Connecticut Supreme Court announced that gay couples have the right to marry, just five months after the California Supreme Court concluded the same. Massachusetts gay and lesbian couples won the right to marry in May of 2004.

A California voter-approved constitutional amendment re-banned the practice in November, leaving only two states offering gay marriage today.

The new poll finds it unlikely that Connecticut voters will follow California's lead: A large majority of voters say they strongly oppose amending their constitution to ban gay marriage (61% appose, 33% support).

“Connecticut voters are not in love with same-sex marriage,” said poll director Douglas Schwartz. “But four out of five voters support some legal recognition for same-sex unions and by almost two-to-one, voters do not want to change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.”

But gay marriage proponents disagreed with that statement, saying: “Barack Obama won the presidential election with the same 52 percent margin and his election results have been interpreted as a clear mandate for change,” Love Makes a Family President Anne Stanback told The Associated Press. “We view the poll results similarly ... Connecticut voters, by a clear majority, support marriage equality for same-sex couples.”

Younger voters agreed by the widest margin (18-34 years, 62%) that gay and lesbian couples deserve the right to marry, while older voters disapproved the most (55+, 68%).