A new poll for the US national newspaper USA Today has found that 53 per cent of Americans now support same-sex marriage.

The survey found that 46 per cent of those asked opposed same-sex marriage, primarily on the basis of religious objections and the fundamental belief that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

The results tie with a poll in May of 2011 that showed the same level of support, but more recent polls have shown the level of support as dropping.

Asked why they back same-sex marriage, about one in 10 supporters cite their friends or family that wish to have a same-sex marriage. A third said that love trumps sexual orientation difference and another third cite the importance of equal rights.

The poll also examined the issue of gay couples adopting. 61 per cent of Americans support this, double the thirty per cent who supported gay adoption 18 years ago.
In April, Pew Research poll found that 47 per cent of Americans are in favour of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, with 43 per cent opposed.

While in 2004, the support for equal marriage stood at 31 per cent and the opposition at 60 per cent, in 2008, the d