According to a recent University of Wyoming survey, a majority of Wyoming residents support same-sex marriage.

The statewide telephone survey asked 768 Wyoming residents to agree or disagree with the statement, “Homosexual couple should be allowed to get married.” Of those surveyed, 53 percent agreed with the statement, and 39 percent disagreed.

“This represents a notable shift in public opinion,” says Jim King, UW professor of political science and a co-director of the survey. “Two years ago, 55 percent of Wyomingites disapproved of same-sex marriage and 40 percent approved. We’ve seen a reversal in those numbers.”

He says support for same-sex marriage has increased over the years, but this years’ survey showed a giant leap in approval.

“When we first asked this question in 2004, 27 percent of Wyomingites indicated approval,” King says. “Every two years, approval would increase by a few percentage points. The rise from 40 percent approval in 2012 to 53 percent approval this year is a significant jump.”

The U.S. District Court’s ruling that overturned the Wyoming state law banning same-sex marriage was announced while interviews were being conducted, but this did not seem to affect the survey results. King says the proportion of survey respondents supporting and opposing same-sex marriage did not change after the court’s decision was issued.

The survey was conducted in October by UW’s Survey Research Center and was sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Wyoming Public Radio and the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.