A Gallup poll has found that half of the US population believe that same-sex couples should have the same wedding rights and legal rights as heterosexuals, reinforcing other polls that have found a majority support for equal marriage.

The news comes as North Carolina residents go to the polls to decide on the controversial Amendment One, which outlaws all but heterosexual marriages, and with pressure mounting on President Obama to declare his position, as both his vice president and his education secretary have come out in support of equal marriage.

The same Gallup poll found last year that for the first time in the poll’s history, a majority of Americans, 53 per cent, favoured equal marriage. Whereas in 1996, that support stood at 27 per cent.

Whereas the recent poll by Pew Research Center found that support versus opposition stood at 47% against 43%, the current Gallup poll finds the ratio at 50% against 48%.

That said, the Gallup poll did replicate many of Pew’s findings, with nearly two-thirds of Democrats supporting equal marriage, more than half of independents, but less than a quarter of Republicans. Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of US citizens with ‘no religoius identity’ backed equality in marriage, and just over half of Catholics, but almost 60% of Protestants opposed the measure.

Paul Guequierre, spokesperson for Human Rights Campaign said in a statement: “The news from Gallup today was very encouraging. It’s great to see that the American people are moving towards a position of support for LGBT equality. We’ve seen the numbers move in our favor for a number of years now, and to see the number over 50 percent is always encouraging.”