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Maine, Maryland vote to legalize gay marriage

BY DAVID CRARY, AP NATIONAL WRITER

Voters a continent apart made history Tuesday on two divisive social issues, with Maine and Maryland becoming the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote while Washington state and Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana.

The outcomes in Maine and Maryland broke a 32-state streak, dating back to 1998, in which gay marriage had been rebuffed by every state that held a vote on it. They will become the seventh and eighth states to allow same-sex couples to marry.

"For the first time, voters in Maine and Maryland voted to allow loving couples to make lifelong commitments through marriage - forever taking away the right-wing talking point that marriage equality couldn't win on the ballot," said Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights group.

Washington state also was voting on a measure to legalize same-sex marriage, though results were not expected until Wednesday at the soonest. Minnesota voters were divided almost 50/50 on a conservative-backed amendment that would place a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution.

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