And while the usual suspects continue to favor gay marriage — young people and non-religious people — exit polls show the most important shifts in support among two key communities: African Americans and Hispanics.

Black voters, in particular, have been slow to embrace gay marriage, even as the vast majority vote Democratic and the rest of the party has embraced gay marriage. On Tuesday, though, they played a major role in passing Maryland’s new gay marriage law.

Maryland is heavily Democratic, which made it a likely candidate to be one of the first states to vote for gay marriage. But the state is also heavily African-American (29 percent) and has a significant Latino population (8 percent), which made passage something less than certain. …

On Tuesday in Maryland, though, 46 percent of African Americans supported gay marriage. And according to national exit polls, 52 percent of both black and Latino voters who turned out Tuesday said they support gay marriage in their states.