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(USA TODAY) There's a generational gap among those who support gay marriage, as well as a partisan one.

About 6 in 10 Republicans under 30, or 61%, are in favor of same-sex marriage while 35% are opposed, according to a newpoll by the Pew Research Center. That compares to about 3 in 10 Republicans over 50, or 27%, who support gay marriage.

The attitudes of younger Republicans on gay marriage are more closely aligned with those of Democrats, regardless of their age. Pew says nearly 7 in 10 Democrats and independents who lean toward the party, or 69%, support same-sex marriage. That contrasts with 39% of Republicans and those who lean toward the GOP.

Pew's findings are consistent with other polls that show people under 30 are among the strongest supporters of gay marriage.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia now allow same-sex marriage - a number that has increased since last June when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed gay men and lesbians to marry in California and struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Public opinion polls have showngrowing support for same-sex marriage, with a record-high 54% of Americans in support in Pew's surveys.

By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY On Politics

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