More people in Pennsylvania support than oppose gay marriage, a new poll concludes.

According to the Franklin & Marshall College Poll, conducted for the Philadelphia Daily News, exactly 50 percent of residents either strongly or somewhat favor giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. That's an 8 percent increase since 2009.

When pollsters asked, “The state legislature is considering several proposals related to gay marriage and civil unions. Would you favor or oppose a constitutional amendment that would allow homosexual couples to get legally marriage?” 42 percent of respondents said they would either strongly or somewhat oppose the proposal.

Opposition dropped to 34 percent when the question was asked about civil unions. And a solid 62 percent of respondents support such unions, an increase of 20 percent since 2004.

“The gay rights movement is a movement of education,” Mark Segal, publisher of gay weekly the Philadelphia Gay News, told the paper. Segal added that Americans are increasingly seeing marriage equality as a civil rights issue.

Pennsylvania Republicans in recent years have failed in attempts to approve a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a heterosexual union, but with GOP majorities in both houses of the Legislature and a Republican governor the effort remains in play.

But proponents of marriage for gay couples say it's only a matter of time.

“This is inevitable. It will happen here,” State Senator Daylin Leach said of a gay marriage law. “I would like it to happen in Pennsylvania before it happens in Mississippi.”