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Survey: Just Under Half of Americans Back Gay Marriage

The latest numbers from Pew Research show a slight drop in support but it's unclear if that represents the start of a downturn.
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A new poll reports a slight drop in support for same-sex marriage, but analysts say it's not clear if it represents the start of a reversal or just a leveling-off after a surge in public acceptance. The Pew Research Center survey conducted in early September found 49 percent of Americans say they are in favor of allowing gays to marry — a five-point drop from a February survey. But the researchers note that when the two surveys are combined, the level of support in 2014 is about the same as it was last year — and 20 points higher than it was a decade ago.

The poll, which measured views on religion and public life, also found that half the public sees homosexuality as a sin, a slight increase from a year ago. That opinion was highest among white evangelicals. Americans are split on whether businesses such as caterers and florists should be allowed to opt out of same-sex events for religious reasons.