Residents of the US state of Utah are evenly split on whether same-sex marriage should be legal or not, according to a new poll.

The Salt Lake Tribune-commissioned poll found that the state was evenly split on same-sex marriage, but that residents of the state felt strongly that same-sex couples should be allowed civil unions.

The poll of 600 respondents showed that 48% of Utah residents supported same-sex marriage, while 48% opposed.

A much larger 72%, however said they believed same-sex couples should be allowed to have domestic partnerships or civil unions.

According to the paper, Utah residents’ views on same-sex marriages have “dramatically shifted in the decade since voters amended the state’s constitution to prohibit them from receiving any legal recognition.”

The group with the strongest support for same-sex marriage was non-Mormons aged between 18 and 34, and Democrats.

Between 20 December and 6 January, some 1,300 couples married in the state as a US District Judge ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage violated the state’s constitution.

The US Supreme Court last Monday put a stay on equal marriage in the US state of Utah, forbidding same-sex couples from being issued with marriage licences in the state during an appeal against a ruling to allow them.

The Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes advised Governor Gary Herbert that marriages between gay couples who married in that short period should not be recognised by the state for benefits purposes.

US Attorney General Eric Holder has since responded to calls to say Utah married same-sex couples would be treated as married by the federal government, despite a directive from the state Governor that they would not.