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UPDATE: Add Colin Powell to the list of those who have come out in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to wed.
The former Secretary of State told CNN on Wednesday that he has "no problem" with same-sex marriage. He continued: "In terms of the legal matter of creating a contract between two people that's called marriage, and allowing them to live together with the protection of law, it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country. And so I support the president's decision."
Powell added that he doesn't necessarily believe the issue should remain a state-by-state discussion.
Elsewhere in the interview, Powell cited friends who are gay and in committed partnerships as a major reason why he doesn't "see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country."
As Politico notes, Powell was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the implementation of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a policy he supported at the time. In early 2010, however, Powell publicly supported its repeal, noting that attitudes and circumstances had changed since its implementation.
Still no word on whom Powell will endorse in the 2012 presidential race.
Wednesday, May 23: The Washington Post and ABC News offer the latest look into Americans' attitude on same-sex marriage: The big takeaway from their new poll is that more than half say same-sex marriage should be legal, and that for the first time ever LGBT advocates are winning the battle among those who have the strongest feelings about the issue.
The top-line numbers: 53 percent of respondents said they think same-sex marriage should be legal, compared to 39 percent who think it should be illegal, a new low in the survey. A slight 3-point plurality (49-46) said they think that states should be in charge of making their own laws on the issue as opposed to relying on one single federal law. And 39 percent of Americans strongly support same-sex marriage, compared to 32 percent who strongly oppose it.
The survey offers the latest data points in a national conversation that has taken on added importance since President Obama came out publicly in support of gay marriage. Still, it should be noted that polls that offer respondents the option of backing same-sex civil unions but not full marriage show less support for allowing gays and lesbians to wed. A NYT/CBS News survey form earlier this month found that when offered that option, only 38 percent backed gay marriage (while 24 percent opted to back only civil unions).
The WaPo/ABC poll also shows a jump in African American support for gay marriage, which some are attributing to Obama's public endorsement. Fifty-nine percent of African Americans now say they support gay marriage, up from roughly 4 in 10 in polls taken prior to the president's interview with Robin Roberts.
The poll shows another interesting, if unsurprising, correlation between those who know someone who is gay and those who support gay marriage. As ABC news explains, individuals who have a gay friend or family member are 20 percentage points more likely to support same-sex marriage than those who don't.
Check out full WaPo results here (with graphs!).