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In shift, gay marriage racks up wins on the ballot

BY CURTIS TATE, MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

WASHINGTON -- Supporters of same-sex marriage reached a major milestone in Tuesday’s elections, when Maryland and Maine became the first states where voters upheld marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

While gay marriage has gained the support of courts, state legislatures and even President Barack Obama, voters have rejected the question every time it has appeared as a ballot issue.

But Tuesday turned the tide. Washington state voters were poised to uphold gay marriage on Wednesday, with supporters of the referendum declaring victory. Voters in Minnesota turned down an effort to ban gay marriage in the state’s constitution.

“We can’t underestimate the importance of what we saw yesterday,” said David Masci, a senior researcher at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. “It’s a pretty big deal.”

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@Sansbury, President Obama is a real supporter of same sex marriage. And that doesn’t make me love him less. I'm so glad for the victory of the third sex. Kudos!

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