Emails made public by the State Department on Thursday suggest Hillary Clinton backed passage of a bill to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in Maryland.

Lawmakers in the state approved the bill in 2012. At the time, Clinton's position on the issue was that she supported civil unions for gay couples.

The state department is making Clinton's emails public as a result of a court order, releasing several thousand messages at a time.

In an email dated Thursday, February 16, 2012, Georgetown University law professor Peter Edelman reached out to Clinton for her support in persuading then-Rep Sam Arora to support the legislation.

“This is a little off the wall, but I am told that Sam Arora worked for Hillary at some point,” Edelman wrote in an email to Cheryl Mills which was forwarded to Clinton. “I may be writing too late anyway – I've been in meetings all day – but the people who are working the gay marriage bill in the Maryland legislature think it would be helpful if someone could find an appropriate way to say to Mr. Arora on Hillary's behalf that it would be great if he could vote for the bill. Thanks for whatever is possible. I realize it may be too much of a reach. All best.”

“Pls let him know Bill called – unsuccessfully,” Clinton responded, a reference to her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton, now a Democratic candidate for the White House, did not publicly endorse marriage equality until after she stepped down from her post as secretary of state. In a 2013 video for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Clinton joined her husband and daughter, Chelsea Clinton, in endorsing marriage rights for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation.

(Related: Hillary Clinton: I support gay marriage.)