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Originally published Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 4:09 AM

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Wash. supporters of gay rights hope lead holds

Supporters of Washington's new domestic partnerships law are hoping their narrow lead holds as votes continue to be counted.

Associated Press Writer

OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Supporters of Washington's new domestic partnerships law are hoping their narrow lead holds as votes continue to be counted.

Elections officials are expected to release additional results Wednesday afternoon. As of Tuesday night, voters were narrowly approving the state's new "everything but marriage" law that marks a significant expansion of rights for gay couples.

With about 50 percent of the expected vote counted, Referendum 71 was leading 51 percent to 49 percent.

The measure asked voters to approve or reject the final expansion to the state's domestic partnership law, which grants registered domestic partners additional state-granted rights currently given only to married couples.

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