A majority of Americans now believe that same-sex marriages should be legal, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research national poll released Tuesday.
With 51 percent of respondents supporting marriage equality, it is the first time that a CNN poll has found majority support for same-sex marriage.
Although more Americans agree on this issue, a generation-and gender-gap still remains. Sixty percent of Americans under 50 support same-sex marriage, but only four in ten of those over 50 feel the same. More than half of men are against legalizing marriage between gay or lesbian couples, but 57 percent of women are in favor of it.
There’s also a partisan divide on the issue. “More than six in 10 Democrats support same sex marriage, joined by more than half of independents, but seven in 10 Republicans are against it,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
The poll results come just one day after House Republicans and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hired a private attorney to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court, at a cost of up to $500,000.
The CNN findings are consistent with the recent General Social Survey (GSS) released in March, which also indicated that, for the first time, more Americans support than oppose same-sex marriage.