(CNN) - As New York's state Senate defeated a bill that would legalize same sex marriages, a new poll indicates that just over half of state's voters favor the legislation.
According to a Marist College survey released Wednesday, 51 percent of people questioned said they favor legalizing gay marriage, with 42 percent opposed.
The poll's release came just hours before the state Senate rejected the legislation, which had already passed the state Assembly. New York Gov. David Paterson said he would have immediately signed the bill if it had made it to his office.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa are currently the only states that legally allow same sex marriages. Earlier this year, Maine's state legislature voted to legalize gay marriages. But voters in Maine last month passed a referendum to overturn the new law. A vote Tuesday by the District of Columbia's city council moved Washington, D.C. one step closer to legalizing same sex marriages.
The Marist survey indicates a partisan divide on the issue, with two-thirds of Democrats supporting gay marriage and a nearly equal amount of Republicans opposed. According to the poll there's a geographic split as well, with 6 in 10 New York City voters supporting legalized same sex marriages, while voters in the suburbs and upstate are divided.
The Marist College poll was conducted Nov. 12, 16, and 17, with 805 New York State registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for the overall sample.
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