RELIGION
05/24/2010 06:23 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Gallup: Opposition To Gay Marriage Shows Slight Decrease

By Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) A slight majority of Americans continue to oppose same-sex marriage, but their opposition has decreased slightly in recent years, according to a new Gallup Poll.

Fifty-three percent of Americans polled oppose legalizing same-sex marriage, compared to 44 percent who favor it. But the opposition tied with the lowest rate ever measured by Gallup, from 2007.

In 1996, when Gallup first asked about the legality of gay marriage, 68 percent of Americans were opposed and 27 percent supported it.

In the most recent poll, Americans who said religion is "very important" in their lives opposed legal same sex marriage by 70 percent to 27 percent. Americans who said religion was not important supported gay marriage by a similar margin, 71 percent to 27 percent.

The latest national telephone poll of 1,029 adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.