Majority of Americans support legalizing same-sex marriage, poll shows

A majority of Americans — 54% — say same-sex marriages should be legally recognized, while 42% are opposed, according to a CNN/ORC International Survey released Wednesday.

The poll showed a sharp partisan divide on the issue, with seven in 10 Democrats as well as six in 10 independent voters saying same-sex marriages should be legal, and 72% of Republicans opposed.

President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage in an ABC News interview in early May, but Mitt Romney says he does not support gay marriage or civil unions.

The poll results come the day after the Ninth U.S. Circuit Appeals Court in San Francisco declined to revisit its earlier decision that ruled California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional and said gay and lesbian couples could marry.

The poll also found that the number of Americans who say they know somebody who is gay has jumped from 49% in 2010 to 60% now.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from May 29-31, with 1,009 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for registered voters.