Polls: Gays Morally Acceptable

In the wake of President Obama's support for same-sex marriage, two new polls are out on Monday showing solid support for same-sex unions and continuing acceptance of gays and lesbians as morally acceptable.

A new CBS/New York Times poll finds that 62 percent of Americans support some form of same-sex unions, be it marriage or civil unions.

Meanwhile, calling it "the new normal," a new Gallup Poll indicates that 54 percent of Americans consider gays or lesbians "morally acceptable"; 42 percent do not. The result is down slightly from 2011, when 56 percent found gays and lesbians acceptable.

In the CBS/New York Times poll showing 62 percent of those polled supporting legal recognition of marriage or civil unions, 38 percent of that group support marriage, while 24 percent support civil unions. However, one in three opposed any legal recognition for same-sex couples. The number of respondents who support marriage is actually down slightly from February, when 40 percent supported it.

Political affiliation is a factor in the results from the CBS/New York Times poll. A majority of Democrats and about four in 10 independents support same-sex marriage, while about half of Republicans say there should be no legal recognition of the relationships.

Support for same-sex marriage has been on the rise in recent years. In 2004, only 28 percent of those polled supported it.

Age is a major factor in the breakdown of the results. Younger Americans are more inclined to support same-sex unions than older ones.

The CBS/New York Times poll was conducted by telephone on May 11-13, among 615 adults nationwide, in the aftermath of President Obama's announcement that he supported same-sex marriage. The poll included 562 registered voters. Respondents to the poll also participated in an April 13-17  poll and were contacted again.

The Gallup poll was conducted May 3-6, with a random sample of 1,024 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.