A new CBS News/New York Times poll finds 42% of Americans now approve of gay marriage, a dramatic nine point increase in a single month.

Respondents now support legally recognizing unions – either marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships – for gay and lesbian couples by a large majority (67%).

The number of respondents who said gay couples deserve no legal recognition has shrunk to an all-time low of 28%.

The poll was conducted during the week of April 22-26 and included a random sample of 973 adults nationwide.

In New Hampshire, where the Legislature has just passed a gay marriage bill, a poll commissioned by the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition, found a majority (55%) of respondents approve of gay marriage.

The new polls caps off a very good month for gay marriage supporters who saw its legalization in two states – Iowa and Vermont – introduction in New York by Governor David Paterson and passage by the New Hampshire Legislature. The District of Columbia also approved a measure that recognizes legal gay marriages performed elsewhere.