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Ed Murray

Washington voters approve gay marriage after similar measures pass in Maryland, Maine

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state has approved gay marriage, joining Maine and Maryland as the first states to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote.

Voter returns released since election night show Referendum 74 has maintained its lead of 52 percent. Opponents conceded the race Thursday, while supporters declared victory a day earlier.

Zach Silk, a spokesman for Washington United for Marriage, called it a "historic day."

"We have always understood that there are good people on the other side of this issue," he said in a statement issued Thursday. "Yet, we remain confident that once people see how much marriage matters to families,...