06/08/2012 12:45 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Faygele Ben Miriam, Jewish Activist, Pioneered Washington State's Gay Marriage Fight In 1971

Decades before any state had seriously considered legalizing gay marriage, long before anyone had thought of creating--never mind repealing--a policy called "Don't Ask Don't Tell," before Reagan, before AIDS, before the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness, and before half the people currently living in America were even born, a man named John Singer stepped into the King County marriage license office in Seattle.

The year was 1971.

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