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Report: Support shifts on same-sex unions

June 7, 2012 at 12:33 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 7 (UPI) -- Nearly half of the U.S. population lives in a city or state that allows same-sex civil unions or marriages, a report by the Third Way indicated.

The report, to be released Friday, documents the changes in the legal and political realms concerning same-sex unions, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Third Way is a centrist public policy think tank.

The report found a significant movement toward some recognition of gay relationships since 1996, when the federal Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law, the Journal said. That year, 5 percent of U.S. residents lived in cities or state jurisdictions that recognize same-sex marriage; now it's 48 percent.

"The ground has shifted substantially under our feet, and the country is now approaching a tipping point for the first time in history," the report said.

This year may be the year when voters approve same-sex marriage for the first time, Third Way said. Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington state all have gay marriage-related issues on the ballot this fall.

So far, voters in 32 states have defeated marriage rights ballot questions.

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