GOP Now Sees Gay Marriage as 'Inevitable' as Democrats Do

But a majority of Republicans are still against it.

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(Jim Mone/AP)
Liz Oppenheimer, left, smiles as she and partner Jeanne Burns apply for their marriage license Thursday, June 6, 2013, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone/AP)

An overwhelming majority – 72 percent – of Americans now believe same-sex marriage is "inevitable," according to a new Pew Research Center survey, with Republicans seeing gay marriage legalization as likely to happen as their Democratic and independent counterparts do.

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Republicans see legal recognition of gay marriage as unavoidable, but that doesn't mean they like it. Only 31 percent of Republicans polled support same-sex marriage, compared to 59 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents, the survey found. And far more Republicans (78 percent) said they would be "upset" to find out their child was gay or lesbian than Democrats (53 percent). Those who identified as Republican were also far less likely to have "a lot" of gay friends than Democrats or independents.

White evangelicals supported gay marriage the least of any demographic, though they, too, overwhelmingly saw the legalization of gay marriage as inevitable, at 70 percent. Respondents in the "unaffiliated" religious group favored gay marriage most.

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The poll was released as the Supreme Court prepares to hand down two rulings on gay-marriage – one on same-sex marriage in California, another on federal benefits tied to a person's marital status.

Same-sex marriage is legal in 12 states and in the District of Columbia.

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