Last Tuesday, Maine, Maryland and Washington state all passed new gay marriage laws and voters in Minnesota defeated a ban against them. If the movement catches on in other states, black and Latinos will be a big reason why, the Washington Post reports.

If you look at last Tuesday’s exit polls alongside other recent studies you’ll find that as more African Americans and Latinos become registered voters the more likely it is for more same-sex marriage victories. 

In Maryland last week, 46 percent of African Americans supported gay marriage. Insiders say Maryland is a microcosm of what’s to come because the state is heavily African-American (29 percent), has a significant Latino population (8 percent) and national polls show both groups have become increasingly supportive of gay marriage since President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage.

According to national exit polls taken last Tuesday, 52 percent of both black and Latino voters who turned out Tuesday said they support gay marriage in their states.

The exit polls’ findings match up with other studies released earlier this year.

A May 2012 Washington Post-ABC News poll found people of color are more likely to support gay marriage than whites with black support at record high.

Just last month the largest population-based survey of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender people ever conducted in the U.S. found LGBT identity is highest among those who are younger, non-white and low income.

A Pew Hispanic Center study also released last month found more Latinos favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally (52%) than oppose same-sex marriage (34%). Among Latino Catholics that favor allowing gays and lesbians that number is even higher (54%).

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake says the gay marriage wins may continue:

But the fact is that the states that are the most Democratic – and thus the likeliest candidates to pass gay marriage laws – tend to be more diverse (California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, etc.). And if African Americans and Latinos are as onboard with gay marriage as the exit polls suggest, the four states that voted in favor of gay marriage on Tuesday might be the first of many.

A recent report from’s publisher, Applied Research Center, highlighted case studies of racial justice groups currently engaging lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) constituencies and equity issues, and identified key barriers and opportunities to greater engagement.