Gay Marriage

Poll: Support for Gay Marriage Recognition at 51 Percent

Huge generational divide in the numbers

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Following an election that saw voters in three states—Maine, Maryland, and Washington—approve measures to legalize same-sex marriage, a new CBS News Poll finds 51 percent of Americans nationwide think same-sex marriage should be legal, while four in 10 do not.

With the addition of these three states, same-sex marriage will become legal in nine states plus the District of Columbia. Also, Minnesota voters rejected an amendment to their state's constitution that would have defined marriage as only between a man and a woman. As the debate over same-sex marriage continues at the ballot box and in state legislatures, the Supreme Court today considered whether to weigh in on the issue. The court could announce as early as Monday whether it will review court challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act or the ruling against California's same-sex marriage ban.

The American public's views on allowing same-sex couples to marry are the same as they were in September, but support for same-sex marriage has risen since the spring and summer of this year.