For the first time since it began asking the question, Gallup says a majority of Americans believe same-sex marriages should be recognized by law. The outcome of the poll–with 53 percent favoring recognition of gay marriage and 45 percent opposed–is a reversal of polling just a year ago.

When Gallup first asked a similar question in 1996, more than two-thirds of Americans were opposed to same-sex marriage.

The issue remains divisive, though. Support is strongest among self-described liberals, Democrats and people ages 18 to 34. Only 28 percent of those who describe themselves as conservatives and Republicans, and 35 percent of men age 50 and older, back recognition of same-sex marriage.

Connecticut is one of five states, plus the District of Columbia, in which same sex marriages are legal.

(Telephone survey of 1,018 adults; margin of error +/- 4 percentage points.)

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