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Voters in England and Wales favor marriage equality, poll reveals

LONDON -- A new poll has revealed the majority of voters in England and Wales support the government's plans to legalize gay marriage, ahead of a consultation on the issue this week.

The ICM Research survey, commissioned by the Sunday Telegraph, found 45% of those asked were in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, while 36% were against -- the remainder said they did not know.

The findings come on the eve of a week that will see the launch of a 12-week government consultation on gay marriage.

More than half of respondents also agreed with the government’s pledge to allow churches to opt-out of holding gay marriage ceremonies, with just over a quarter stating churches shouldn’t have the option.

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