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Washington Voters Approve Same-Sex Marriage

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(OLYMPIA, Wash.) -- Washington State voters have joined Maryland and Maine in approving same-sex marriage referendums that were put on the ballot on Election Day.

The delay in the Washington outcome was due to the closeness of the vote.  It wasn’t until Thursday that opponents of Referendum 74 conceded they had lost.

Last February, Washington technically became the seventh state in the nation to permit gay and lesbian weddings after Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a measure passed by the Legislature into law.

At the time, Gregoire declared it was "a day that historians will mark as a milestone for equal rights."

However, same-sex marriage opponents managed to accrue 240,000 signatures to put the matter up for a vote.

Washington, which passed a Defense of Marriage Act in 1998, has been more open toward gay rights since then, instituting a Domestic Partnership law five years ago.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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