Supporters of same-sex marriage in Maryland celebrated early Wednesday morning.
Just after midnight, talk of Question 6, a measure allowing same-sex couples in Maryland to obtain civil marriage licenses, began to circulate. Minutes later, it was announced the measure was approved.
To the tune of Kool and the Gang's Celebrate, supporters of the measure danced and thanked those who worked grass roots efforts to pass the legislation.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley released the following statement in response to the passing of the measure:
"Over these past few weeks, Marylanders joined together to affirm that for a free and diverse people of many faiths - a people committed to religious freedom - the way forward is always found through greater respect for the equal rights and human dignity of all.
A lot of people worked very hard to make this day possible, including the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP, SEIU, clergy and community leaders.
To Maryland's children - please know that you and your families matter to the people of our State. Whether your parents happen to be gay or straight, Democratic, Republican or Independent, your families are equal before the eyes of the law.
We have tremendous challenges as a nation, and it is my sincere hope that we can come together to meet those challenges with greater respect for the dignity of every individual.
We are One Maryland, and all of us, at the end of the day, want the same thing for our children: to live in a loving, stable, committed home protected equally under the law."
The law also protects clergy from having to perform same-sex marriages if it is a violation of their beliefs.
The NAACP also released a statement on Maryland's marriage equality initiative.
"Maryland made history tonight, and I am proud," said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, who had been a vocal proponent of the measure throughout the campaign. "We achieved this important step toward equality because civil rights leaders, church leaders and the LGBT community came together throughout the state with a united message that civil marriage is a civil right."