This week, lawmakers in Washington state legalized same-sex marriage and a federal appeals court declared a voter initiative in California, which had made gay marriage illegal, to be unconstitutional.

So what does the public think about gay marriage, in light of these measures?

According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, 46 percent of the public opposes same-sex marriage while 45 percent approve of it. This constitutes a trend toward the acceptance of gay marriage, as 54 percent opposed it in 2009, and 65 percent in 1996.

The demographic most likely to support gay marriage are 18-to-31 year-olds, who do so at a 64 percent rate. On the other end of spectrum are those 65-and-over, who only support gay marriage at 32 percent clip.

[The Pew Research Center]