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Poll Finds Growing Support in US for Same-sex Marriage

FILE - A crowd celebrates outside of the Supreme Court after the court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, in Washington, D.C., June 26, 2015.

Support for same-sex marriage is increasing in the U.S., especially among Americans traditionally opposed to allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, according to a new study.

The survey by the Pew Research Center says 62 percent of Americans support gay marriage, while 32 percent say they are opposed. The results of the poll were released Monday, exactly two years after the U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring states to recognize same-sex marriage.

The poll points to a broad cultural shift in America. As recently as 2010, more Americans opposed than supported equal rights for same-sex partners. Pew says the change in opinion has been the most acute among groups that were the most staunchly opposed.

For the first time, the study shows a majority of African-Americans and baby boomers support legal same-sex marriage.

In 2007, 26 percent of African-Americans expressed support; that has risen to 51 percent in favor, according to the new poll.

In the same poll, 56 percent of baby boomers — or Americans aged 52-70 — support legal gay marriage; that number is up 10 points from last year.

White Evangelical Christians are another group long associated with opposition to same-sex marriage. The new study says almost half of Evangelicals born after 1964 support allowing gay marriage; that is up from 29 percent in March 2016.

Despite growing support for gay marriage, there continues to be a partisan divide on the issue.

Three-quarters of Democrats and left-leaning Independents support same-sex marriage, while 19 percent oppose, according to the Pew study.

Republicans are evenly split on the issue — 47 percent support and 48 percent oppose. However, this is the first time that Republican support for same-sex marriage has approached 50 percent in the Pew study, buoyed by support from 60 percent of Republican millennials.

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