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Voters in Washington, Minnesota, Maryland and Maine had the opportunity to vote on same-sex marriage on November 6th. Here are the results:

Maine

Question 1 – a vote to legalize gay marriage – passed in Maine. Maine is the first state to approve same sex marriage by voter initiative on the ballot.

Maryland

Question 6 – a vote to uphold a bill passed by the legislature earlier this year that legalizes gay marriage – passed in Maryland.

Minnesota

Amendment 1 – an amendment the state’s constitution to define marriage as one man and one woman – was rejected by the voters of Minnesota.

Washington

Referendum 74 – a vote to uphold a bill passed by the legislature earlier in 2012 that allows gay marriage – passed in Washington.

Washington, Maryland and Maine join the six states – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, plus Washington D.C. – that have legalized same-sex marriage.

The legalization of same-sex marriage in New York has allowed Elder Law attorneys to employ spousal planning strategies for same-sex couples in Medicaid or estate planning matters. Medicaid rules have been specifically designed to protect certain property, assets and income of the spouses of Medicaid recipients.

Same-sex couples residing in New York, or any other state that has legalized same-sex marriage, should review their long-term care plans and estate plans with an Elder Law attorney to be sure they are aware of the benefits that may be available to them.

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