Maryland voters on Tuesday upheld a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers.
Media called a win for Question 6 at about 12:30AM ET Wednesday morning. According to POLITICO.com, the measure was passing 51.8% to 48.2% with 92.8% of precincts reporting
"Maryland's voters agreed with their lawmakers, governor, and a majority of Americans nationwide: same-sex couples should not be denied the chance to make the ultimate commitment because of whom they love," Shawn Werner, director of political operations at Freedom to Marry, said in an email to supporters. "We look forward to all the marriages we'll celebrate in 2013, even as we turn our momentum into more victories across the country."
After an effort to legalize gay nuptials in 2011 failed in the House of Delegates, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announced that he would follow in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's footsteps and shepherd the bill through the Legislature.
Openly gay and allied members of the House championed the bill with emotional pleas to their colleagues.
Passage was won with a compromise: the law would not take effect until January, giving opponents an opportunity to put the issue on the ballot in November.
Opponents immediately vowed to do just that, forming the Maryland Marriage Alliance, its main contributor the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). The campaign that followed was steeped in religious anti-gay rhetoric. In one instance, a pastor associated with the campaign suggested gay people and their allies are "worthy of death."
Appearing at campaign rallies, fundraisers and on television ads, O'Malley, a rising star in the Democratic Party, strongly backed passage of Question 6.
"For equality, for fairness, for religious freedom vote for Question 6," O'Malley said in a video released Monday by the campaign to uphold the law, Marylanders for Marriage Equality.