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Unofficial results had shown longtime councilman Bill John Baker defeating Principal Chief Chad Smith by 11 votes.

But Cherokee Election Commission clerk Joyce Gourd said Monday that Smith won a fourth term as chief by a mere seven-vote margin. Miss Gourd says official results show Mr. Smith won with 7,609 votes to Mr. Baker’s 7,602 votes.

Mr. Smith said he was pleased by the commission’s action and his staff is jubilant. He had announced plans to challenge the results of the election before Ms. Gourd’s announcement. He said he expects Mr. Baker to challenge the official results. Mr. Baker was not immediately available for comment.

STATE

Clinton hails state’s gay marriage decision

New York’s legalization of same-sex marriage marks a historic human rights victory that will give much-needed credibility and visibility to the international movement for equality for gays and lesbians, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday.

Speaking at a gay pride event at the State Department, Mrs. Clinton celebrated last week’s move in the state she once represented in the Senate. She called New York’s legislative approval of gay marriage a momentous and extraordinary event and said she hoped it would lend momentum to the campaign for gay rights.

Mrs. Clinton also said much more needs to be done to end discrimination around the globe, a cause she has rallied American diplomats to embrace.

“This is an especially momentous and extraordinary time for us to meet,” Mrs. Clinton told a crowd organized by Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies, a group that includes employees of the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other federal offices that deal with foreign policy.

“The historic vote in New York … I think gives such visibility and credibility to everything that so many of you have done for so many years,” she said.

Although Mrs. Clinton perhaps intentionally did not use the word “marriage” once in her remarks, her enthusiastic endorsement of the New York law puts her at the forefront of President Obama’s top aides in backing same-sex marriage. Mr. Obama himself has been hesitant on the issue, although he has instructed his administration to end discriminatory barriers for gay people at home and abroad.