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Pew poll: 65 percent of Democrats support gay marriage, compared to 24 percent of Republicans

BY DAVID CRARY, AP NATIONAL WRITER

PP_12.07.31_GayMarriageNEW YORK -- The partisan gap over same-sex marriage continues to widen, with 65 percent of Democrats now supporting it compared to 24 percent of Republicans, according to poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.

The poll found an increase in support among Democrats since President Barack Obama announced in May that he favors same-sex marriage. In April, a Pew poll gauged support among Democrats at 59 percent.

The latest poll, conducted jointly by the Pew's Forum on Religion and Public Life and its Center for the People and the Press, was released a day after Democratic Party leaders said they intended to add support for gay marriage to the party platform at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in early September.

At the time of the last convention, in 2008, 50 percent of Democrats favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 42 percent were opposed. In the new poll, only 29 percent of Democrats were opposed.

According to Pew, support for gay marriage also has increased among independents. In the new poll, 51 percent of independents favor it, and 40 percent are opposed. In 2008, 44 percent of independents backed gay marriage, 45 percent were against it.

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