Story originally posted April 11, 2014, 4:14 p.m.

Voters in North Carolina are changing their opinions about gay marriage, according to a recent poll released by Public Policy Polling in Raleigh.

According to PPP, 53 percent of voters say that gay marriage should be illegal, while 40 percent say it should be legal.

That’s a 13-point swing from just two years ago, when voters went to the polls and approved Amendment One — which banned gay marriage in the state — by a 22-point margin.

PPP Director Tom Jensen explained the change in attitudes to WCHL.

“We’re really just finding that, as time goes on, both in North Carolina and everywhere, voters are becoming more and more accepting of gay marriage,” he says. “I think they’re more likely to know openly gay people in their lives who help change their minds about the issue.”

In addition, says Jensen, people in North Carolina are being exposed to more positive images of gay people in pop culture and television.

According to Jensen, one set of poll results really illustrates where the direction of public opinion is headed on the issue.
“Among voters under thirty, 62 percent of North Carolinians support gay marriage,” says Jensen. “Only 33 percent are opposed.”

The PPP poll shows that North Carolina voters increasingly believe that gay couples should at least have rights to civil unions.

Sixty-two percent support either marriage or civil unions for same sex-couples to only 34 percent that think same-sex couples should have no legal recognition at all.