A new poll released Wednesday shows
Americans are nearly evenly split on whether to allow gay and lesbian
couples to marry.
poll conducted by The Pew Research Center for the People & the
Press found 45 percent of adults favor marriage equality, while
46 oppose it. That's an increase of 3 percent over last year's poll,
which found opponents outnumbered supporters 48% to 42%.
According to the poll, the issue breaks
down along political and geographic lines.
Support is lowest in the Midwest (40%
favor) and the South (34%). But a majority of adults favor gay
marriage in the Northeast (59%) and the West (56%).
Support is highest among Democratic
voters. Fifty-seven percent of Democratic voters support marriage
equality. Support from Independent voters increased by 7 percent
from last year, from 44% to 51%, while Republican support dropped by
1 percent, from 24% to 23%.
Other national polls, including
an AP poll conducted late last year, concluded that a narrow
majority of Americans favor legalizing gay marriage. And, according
to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights
majority of people in 17 states now support marriage equality.