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More California voters now support allowing same-sex marriage than oppose it, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The results mark the first time in over three decades of polling that more California voters have approved of extending marriage to gay couples than have disapproved, said Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo. The survey of 1,052 registered voters was conducted over the phone.

"I would say this is a historic turning point or milestone," DiCamillo said. "We have speculated in the past there would be some time in the future when a majority would support same-sex marriage. Well, the lines have crossed."

The poll found that 51 percent of respondents backed legalizing same-sex marriage and 42 percent opposed it, DiCamillo said.

In 2006, when participants were asked, "Do you approve or disapprove of California allowing homosexuals to marry members of their own sex?" 44 percent said they approved and 50 percent objected. In 1977, the first year Field posted the question to voters, 28 percent approved and 59 percent were opposed.

The poll was conducted from May 17 to May 26 in the days after the California Supreme Court handed down its historic ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in the nation's most populous state. A smaller percentage of respondants_ 48 percent — said they agreed with the court's decision and 46 percent disagreed.


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