President Barack Obama on Thursday endorsed referendums in Maryland, Maine and Washington state which would legalize gay marriage.

The endorsements were issued through the state branches of the president's re-election campaign.

“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” Paul Bell, press secretary for the campaign in Washington, said in a statement.

“Washington's same-sex marriage law would treat all Washington couples equally, and that is why the president supports a vote on Referendum 74.”

Lawmakers in Washington and Maryland approved laws legalizing marriage equality. Opponents in both states gathered sufficient signatures to put the laws on the ballot.

Supporters in Maine are returning the issue to the ballot box after voters in 2009 narrowly repealed a marriage law approved by lawmakers with a “people's veto.” If approved on November 6, Maine would become the first state to legalize gay nuptials by referendum.

In May, Obama became the first sitting president to endorse marriage rights for gay couples. The following month, he spoke out against a proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution which would define marriage as a heterosexual union.

“President Obama continues to be a transitional leader for LGBT equality,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate. “The president's historic announcement of his support for marriage equality earlier this year sent a powerful message, particularly to LGBT youth, that no one's hope of achieving the American dream should be curtailed simply because of who they are. In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, we enter the final weeks of this hard-fought campaign knowing that the President of the United States joins our entire community in supporting their efforts to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect.”