Marylanders cast historic vote on ballot measure, affirming the freedom to marry!

Tonight, a majority of voters in Maryland voted FOR Question 6, upholding the freedom to marry law that passed in the state legislature and was signed by Governor Martin O'Malley in March 2012. Maryland will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on January 1, 2013.

Shawn Werner, Freedom to Marry's Director of Political Operations and a key adviser to the Maryland campaignm, commented on the win tonight. He said:

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. We look forward to all the marriages we’ll celebrate in 2013, even as we turn our momentum into more victories across the country.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality led the public education effort in the state, with a special focus on engaging African-American clergy and community leaders to speak out.

Freedom to Marry partnered with the NAACP National Voter Fund for Question 6 on a radio spot and print ads featuring NAACP Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond making a civil rights argument for the freedom to marry. In addition, Freedom to Marry helped create and fund a radio spot featuring President Barack Obama speaking of his journey to support for marriage. In total, Freedom to Marry invested more than $200,000 into the campaign for marriage in Maryland in 2011-2012, building on years of partnership in the state laying the groundwork for victory.

Maryland is now the eighth state to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Maryland joins Maine's historic victory from less than an hour ago. It's a huge night for the freedom to marry: President Barack Obama became the first pro-marriage candidate elected to the nation's highest office, Maine proactively won the freedom to marry at the ballot, and now Maryland has joined Maine! Victory!

Read about Maine's victory HERE, and help us celebrate Maryland's victory on Facebook by sharing THIS Facebook graphic!

And follow our LIVE BLOG from Election Day HERE