The nation's largest professional organization for lawyers approved Tuesday a resolution urging states to legalize gay marriage.

At its annual meeting in San Francisco, the American Bar Association (ABA) voted in favor of the measure sponsored by the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).

The resolution reads: “RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges state, territorial, and tribal governments to eliminate all of their legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex who are otherwise eligible to marry.”

Stephen P. Younger, president of the NYSBA, called the ABA's action “historic.”

“NYSBA has been a leader in advocating that same-sex couples be allowed to marry, and it will continue the fight until this goal is achieved both in New York and across the country,” he added.

Younger told the AP that the resolution was approved overwhelmingly.

“With today's resolution, the ABA embraces our nation's promise of liberty and equal protection under the law and signals a growing consensus in America's legal profession that marriage is a fundamental right that belongs to every citizen,” Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a group dedicated to marriage equality, said.

Previously, the ABA approved a measure that called the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unfair, but stopped short from advocating for gay marriage.