Half of Virginia voters have now said they support equal marriage, with a clear majority of females approving of it, a new poll has discovered.

The poll by Quinnipiac University found that 50% of voters supported same-sex marriage compared to 43% against.

While women supported equal marriage 55 to 39%, men actually opposed it 49 to 43%. Politically, 68% of Democrats supported equal marriage, with 26% opposed, and Republicans opposed it by the same ratio.

Catholics were in favour of equal marriage with 56 to 40%, however Protestants opposed it 57 to 36%. Born again evangelicals on average opposed same-sex marriage by 74%.

A majority of voters aged 18 to 29 backed equal marriage, with 74% for, and 52% of those aged 30 to 44 also approved. A majority of those 45 and old opposed same-sex marriage.

In the 2006 general election, an amendment was added to the state Constitution banning same-sex marriage. 57% of voters approved the ban to 43%.

Efforts are in motion to eventually repeal the ban.

Quinnipiac University interviewed 1,030 registered voters in the state from 11 to 15 July. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%.

Back in April, a poll revealed that, despite rising support for equal marriage overall across the US, voters in the state of Virginia still marginally opposed it.