Maine votes in favor of legalizing gay marriage

By DAVID CRARY | November 7, 2012 | 7:33 AM EST

State Auditor Rebecca Otto enters the RV at a stop in Edina, Minn., on the "Minnesota Votes No" statewide tour Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 in Minneapolis for the final day of the campaign to urge voters to vote against the marriage amendment. Candidates and volunteers worked Monday to make the most of their last 24 hours before decision day, hustling to energize their core supporters and searching for any remaining fence-sitters. Meanwhile, both political parties said they were gearing up like never before to watch the other for any electioneering on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Maine residents have approved same-sex marriage, giving the gay rights movement a breakthrough victory.

Gay marriage is legal in six states and Washington, D.C., but those laws were either enacted by lawmakers or through court rulings. In popular votes, more than 30 states had previously held elections on same-sex marriage, with all losing.

Maine, Maryland and Washington state were holding up-or-down votes Tuesday on legalizing gay marriage. Minnesota was voting on a proposal to ban gay marriage in the state constitution.