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For the first time ever, support for marriage equality in the U.S. has surged into a sizable lead in a new poll.
The scientific study called the 2010 General Social Survey shows that 46% of Americans are in favor of same-sex marriage, and 40% don’t. The rest are undecided.
The same study, the 2008 General Social Survey, found those numbers almost reversed: 40% were in favor and 48% in opposition. The rest were undecided.
The General Social Study poll is conducted by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center.
For reasons unknown, the poll results have not been widely reported. Southern Illinois University sociologist Darren Sherkat blogged about the survey on Feb. 25 and The Washington Independent wrote about the historical shift in public opinion in a story published on Tuesday, March 8.
The story also showed how religious beliefs were affecting marriage equality support:
Almost inevitably, “philosophical” Christians who believe that the stories in the Bible are fables designed for moral instruction were much more likely to support same-sex marriage than both those who believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and literalists who believe the Bible depicts the actual history of the world. Biblical literalists offered the most opposition to same-sex marriage, and Democrats of all types were significantly more likely than their Republican counterparts to support same-sex marriage.