ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland voters have approved same-sex marriage in a close vote.
Voters approved the ballot question on Tuesday with about 52 percent of the vote.
Gov. Martin O'Malley pushed for legislation this year. He spoke to a loudly cheering audience in Baltimore, where supporters danced, hugged and popped balloons in celebration. The governor said "every child's home deserves to be protected under the law."
The Democrat signed legislation in March to legalize same-sex marriage, but opponents successfully gathered enough signatures to petition the law to the ballot for voters to decide.
Governor Martin O'Malley released the following statement:
"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.
"As we have done so often in our State's history, Marylanders chose to come together to affirm this profound truth that has served as both the cornerstone -- and the beacon of hope -- of our nation.
"By this vote, the people of our State affirmed that we are One Maryland and that we're all in this together."