Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie should have considered the children of gay couples in vetoing a gay marriage bill approved last week by lawmakers.

During an appearance on SiriusXM Radio's OutQ, O'Malley told host Michelangelo Signorile that he hopes the Maryland Senate follows in the footsteps of the House and approves a bill which would make Maryland the eighth state to legalize gay marriage. Debate on the bill began in the Senate on Thursday.

O'Malley said his previous position in support of civil unions for gay couples was “wrong.”

“I believed that in my short service to the people of this state that the consensus point on this issue could only be reached around civil unions,” he said. “I was wrong. It became possible to reach a consensus on marriage equality.”

“There's been an evolution in the broadest sense among the people of our state. Initially, when this issue first became very visible – after Mayor Gavin Newsom conducted marriages in San Francisco [in 2004] – I think initially a lot people had a lot of fear, and a lot of misplaced fear, and over time I think people have come to realize that the way forward, among people of many different faiths, is always through the greater and broader respect for equal rights for all.”

In a separate statement, the governor responded to Christie's veto: “In contrast to what is happening in New Jersey, Governor O'Malley has always said he would sign the bill if passed. All children should live in loving, stable and committed homes. The governor is proud of the steps thus far by Maryland legislators to step up and protect rights equally.”