A survey of Rhode Island voters has found that 60 per cent support the introduction of a law allowing gay couples to marry.

Vermont and Maine legalised gay marriage in the last two months, while it is also legal in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

New Hampshire governor John Lynch has said he will sign a revised gay marriage bill but California’s Supreme Court this week announced that Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in the state, will be upheld.

Seventy-five per cent of the 593 voters surveyed said they would support civil unions, while only 31 per cent did not agree with gay marriage.

Seventy-seven per cent of Democrats supported same-sex marriage, compared only 28 per cent of Republicans.

As with previous surveys, a distinct difference in opinion was found between younger and older voters.

Of those aged between 18-29, 87 per cent were in support of gay couples marrying. Among voters over 70, this figure dropped sharply to just 32 per cent.

Kathy Kushnir, executive director of Marriage Equality Rhode Island, told AP: “Even if they’re not hearing constantly from constituents or people they work with about what they feel about marriage equality, it clearly gives the decision-makers something to look at when supporting marriage equality.”

The survey was conducted by Brown University with a random sample of 593 registered voters statewide. The margin of error was plus or minus approximately four percentage points.