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Gay marriage gains across the country

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Albany/HV: Gay marriage gains across the country
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Election 2012 delivered victories for gay rights advocates throughout the country. YNN's Lori Chung has more on why some activists say the efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in New York paid off for other states.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Gay rights advocates in Seattle celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage on Election Day, similar to the scene that played out in New York in 2011.

"This was the largest state with the largest population, with a very large population of LGBT people to actually have the right to marry and I think that that created a slingshot effect for the national movement," said Brian Coffin, Empire State Pride Agenda.

Coffin says the ripples from the marriage equality act reached Maryland, Maine and Washington, where voters approved gay marriage, a historic first that comes just four years after Proposition 8 was rejected in California.

Coffin said, "We've seen it bore out in polling. This is a generational issue and the more younger people get into voting age, we're going to see this turn."

In Minnesota, voters there rejected a state constitutional ban on gay marriage, a shift advocates trace back to New York.

"I think it was a watershed," said Brian Silva, Marriage Equality USA, New York Chapter.

Brian Silva of Marriage Equality USA says the same sex marriage battle here laid a road map for activists in other states to follow.

Silva said, "Bringing together a broad coalition of faith, labor, LGBT and affiliated groups."

Silva's group helped strategize in all four states, but is also looking to the future.

“I think the next thing we do is we continue to build on the foundations with repealing the so-called defense of marriage act,” Silva said.

In the effort to repeal that federal law that bans gay marriage, activists point to the re-election of Barack Obama as yet another victory, the first president to openly support same-sex marriage.

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