Two-thirds of Americans support legal recognition of same-sex unions, according to a new CBS News/New York Times Poll released Monday.
The poll also shows that support full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is significantly higher among younger generations.
Overall, 38 percent of those who responded to the survey said same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, just like any other couple. Another 24 percent said civil unions should be used to grant same-sex couples legal rights similar to male-female partnerships. Combined, that means 62 percent – close to two thirds – of Americans believe that same-sex unions should be recognized by law.
Of all those who participated, 33 percent said there should be no legal recognition for same-sex couples.
One of the most striking figures revealed by the survey comes when the responses are broken down by age. Americans between the ages of 18 and 44 are far more likely than people 45 and older to support full marriage rights for same-sex couples.
The poll also revealed significant partisan differences on support for same-sex unions.
About half of Republicans said they do not support any legal recognition of same-sex relationships, while only 37 percent back civil unions.
Only 9 percent of Republicans who participated in the survey said they supported full marriage equality, whereas 58 percent of Democrats who responded said that same-sex couples should be permitted to marry.
The telephone poll was conducted May 11-13, 2012 among 615 adults nationwide, including 562 registered voters.