Poll: 53% of Americans support gay marriage

Poll: 53% of Americans support gay marriage

A new poll from the Associated Press shows a shift in support for marriage equality across the country.

Though a narrow majority opposed equality in 2009, now, in 2011, a majority of Americans want legal marriage rights for same-sex couples!

Reports the AP:  53% of the 1,000 adults surveyed believe the government should give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same sex, about the same as last year, according to the nationwide telephone poll by The Associated Press and the National Constitution Center. 44% were opposed.

People are similarly conflicted over what, if anything, the government should do about the issue.

Support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage has shifted in recent years, from a narrow majority opposed in 2009 to narrow majority support now. Some of the shift stems from a generational divide, with the new poll showing a majority of Americans under age 65 in favor of legal recognition for same-sex marriages, and a majority of seniors opposed.

Moreover, slightly more Americans (57%) believe same-sex couples should at least receive the benefits entitled to heterosexual unions, even if marriage isn’t the word they prefer.