NEW YORK (AP) - For years, foes of same-sex marriage had a potent talking point: They'd won every time the issue went to a popular vote.

That winning streak has now been shattered in a multi-state electoral sweep by gay marriage supporters. It's a historic tipping point likely to influence other states and possibly even the Supreme Court.

In Tuesday's voting, Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote. Washington state seemed poised to follow suit, although ballot-counting there was slow. In Minnesota, voters rejected a proposal to place a ban on gay-marriage in the state constitution.

Activists said the voting results will likely spur pushes for same-sex marriage in states that already have established civil unions for gay couples - including Illinois, Rhode Island, Hawaii and Delaware.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved)