The data shows a trend of more and more Americans supporting same-sex marriage. In 2003, only 37 percent of Americans felt it was legal. Support grew to 47 percent by 2010.
While a majority of Democrats and independents supported gay marriage, only 31 percent of Republicans agreed with the idea.
All age groups saw big increases in support since 2005. Ages 30-39 saw a 23 point jump, the biggest among all age groups.
A recent Pew poll also observed an increase in those that thought same-sex marriage should be legal.
The poll found that 45 percent of adults surveyed favored allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, compared to only 42 percent last year. Forty-six percent of those surveyed were opposed to same-sex marriage, a decline of 19 percent since 1996.
A 2010 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that 66 percent believed gays and lesbians deserved some form of legal recognition for same-sex marriages or civil unions.
Last month, President Barack Obama instructed the Department of Justice to stop defending a key section of the nation’s laws banning gay marriage. Republicans in Congress vowed to fight the administration’s decision.
– with earlier reporting by Eric W. Dolan
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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