A narrow majority of Americans support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, a new AP poll released Monday found.

When asked, “Should the Federal Government give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same sex, or not?” 52 percent of respondents answered “yes” and 46 percent responded “no.”

A CNN survey released last month asked about gay marriage with two different questions, but on average a slim majority (50.5%) of respondents said they support the institution. It was the first nationwide survey with a majority favoring marriage equality.

“For the second time, a national poll shows that a majority of Americans support the freedom to marry, reflecting the growing momentum of the marriage movement and a growing awareness in America of who gay people are and why marriage matters to same-sex couples and their families,” Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement.

The nationwide telephone poll of 1,007 adults also found that 58 percent of respondents agree that gay and lesbian couples should be entitled to the same government benefits as married couples of the opposite sex, a 7 point increase from 2008.

In another question, pollsters also found that a large majority (62%) of those surveyed believe the “rights of everyone should be protected, even when that means saying no to something the majority of people want to happen.”

“Even in a moment in which most people are focused on the economy and unemployment, Americans are still speaking up for our country's core values that the majority should not deny a minority its rights and that we must uphold the Constitution's enduring promise of equal protection for all,” Wolfson added.

Pollsters began their survey on August 11, a week after a federal judge declared California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, unconstitutional. The poll has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.