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For First Time, Majority of Americans Support Gay Marriage

FILE - In this file photo taken June 17, 2008, John Lewis, left, puts a wedding ring on the hand of Stuart Gaffney, both of San Francisco, as they exchange marriage vows at City Hall in San Francisco. County clerk offices opened their doors June 17, 2008, to hundreds of gay and lesbian couples with appointments to secure marriage licenses and exchange vows on the first full day same-sex nuptials were legal throughout California. (AP Photo/Darryl Bush, File)AP

A  recent Gallup poll shows 53 percent of Americans support making gay marriage legal, Reuters reports.

The poll shows a significant change in mood on the issue from a year ago, when an equal majority opposed same-sex matrimony.

The latest Gallup findings, Reuters reports, are in line with two earlier national polls this spring that show support for legally recognized gay marriage has gained a newfound majority among Americans.

According to Gallup, Democrats and political independents accounted for the entire shift in its survey compared to last year, when only 44 percent of all respondents favored gay marriage, while 53 percent were opposed.

The percentage of Republicans favoring same-sex matrimony held steady at 28 percent.

While same-sex marriage remains a highly controversial issue, homosexual couples have won the right to legally wed in five states – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa. The District of Columbia has also approved same-sex marriage.

"The trend toward marriage equality is undeniable -- and irreversible," Joe Solmonese, president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement.

Maggie Gallagher, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, said the poll shows her fellow opponents of gay matrimony have been "shamed" into silence.

Twenty-nine states have adopted constitutional amendments restricting marriage as between a man and a woman, and 12 other states have passed laws to that effect, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Click for the full Gallup poll on gay marriage