In her farewell address that called school funding and transportation the top state challenges today, two-term Gov. Chris Gregoire also noted that Washington voted for a same-sex marriage law by the largest margin in the country last November, approving Referendum 74. Gay-rights activists in the audience - including several recently married couples in the front row of the House galleries - and key lawmakers paid notice. It wasn’t just that they and Democrats applauded while most Republican lawmakers kept seated. Democratic Rep. Jamie Pedersen of Seattle, who is gay and helped pass the law upheld by R-74, said Gregoire’s contributions were huge for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people for much longer than the past year’s campaign.
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