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Poll: Half The Country Believes Constitution Protects Gay Marriage

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AP Photo / Ed Hille

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent flagged a significant datapoint in the latest ABC/WaPo survey.

Regardless of your own preference on the issue, do you think that the part of the U.S. Constitution providing Americans with equal protection under the law does or does not give gays and lesbians the legal right to marry?
Does: 50
Does not: 43

Sargent wrote this might be an even bigger milestone for gay rights than the sweeping shift in public attitudes about same-sex marriage in general.

The poll found a solid majority — 56 percent — in favor of gay nuptials. But the datapoint Sargent highlighted will only deepen the belief that the Supreme Court will weigh in on the question, perhaps sooner rather than later.

Although the Supreme Court didn't declare a Constitutional right to gay marriage in last summer's ruling in United States v. Windsor, lower court judges have repeatedly cited the case in striking down bans in several states.

Just last month, judges in Arkansas, Idaho and Pennsylvania ruled that laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.