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BREAKING NEWS! Voters in Washington state approve marriage for gay and lesbian couples

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Voters in the state of Washington joined Maine and Maryland in approving marriage equality on Tuesday night.

About 52% of voters, according to preliminary results, supported the state legislature and Gov. Chris Gregoire, who signed the same-sex marriage bill into law on Feb. 13.

Anti-gay figures brought Referendum 74 to voters, who rejected it by a sizable margin.

This is the first time in U.S. history that marriage equality has been approved at the ballot box, and the fact that three states have given the OK to same-sex weddings is a testament to how quickly public opinion has shifted in the U.S.

Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the Courage Campaign, had this to say on the sweeping victories for marriage equality in Maryland, Maine and Washington:

"The tide has turned - when voters have the opportunity to really hear directly from loving, committed same-sex couples and their families, they voted for fairness and the freedom to marry. How fitting that four years after Prop. 8 awakened the nation, and the world, to the injustice of marriage for some but not for all committed couples, we have now won at the ballot box. The Supreme Court can see that America is continuing its historic march towards equality and justice for all. Those who oppose the freedom to marry for committed couples are clearly on the wrong side of history. More and more voters are coming to know that gay people are our neighbors, our co-workers, our fellow parishioners, our family and our friends. It won't be long at all before all loving committed couples have the freedom to marry."