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09/22/2014 04:59 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Gay Marriage Support Could Be Leveling Off, New Pew Research Center Poll Finds

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Could national support for same-sex marriage be leveling off after years of being on the upswing?

The Associated Press is reporting that a newly-released survey from the Pew Research Center found a 5 percentage point drop in American support for legal recognition for same-sex relationships, from 54 percent in February to 49 percent.

The poll of 2,002 adults, which was conducted Sept. 2-9, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, according to the report.

But it might be too early for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates to get concerned over the dip. As Pew Research Center officials pointed out, it's too early to know if this "modest" decline is simply an anomaly or the start of a reversal in attitudes when it comes to marriage equality.

"As we continue to ask this question in other surveys, we'll keep an eye on where this moves," Jessica Martinez, a researcher in Pew's Religion and Public Life Project, is quoted by the AP as saying.

In addition, when the results of a February poll and the current survey are combined, the 2014 average level of support stands at 52 percent, up slightly from last year, when the average was 50 percent.

Interestingly, the poll also found that exactly 50 percent of the public now considers homosexuality a sin, up from 45 percent last year, while "nearly half" of the respondents believed businesses like bakers, caterers and florists should be allowed to reject same-sex couples if their owners have religious objections.

Read more about the poll here.

The Pew Research Center's poll stands in stark contrast to similar surveys. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released in March found that a record 59 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released in April found that 53 percent of respondents said they favored marriage equality.

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