PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine voters have torpedoed a state law that would have allowed gay couples to marry.

With 84 percent of the precincts reporting, gay-marriage foes had 53 percent of the vote Tuesday.

The outcome amounts to a heartbreaking defeat for the gay rights movement - particularly since it occurred in New England, the corner of the country most supportive of gay marriage.

At issue was a law passed by the Maine Legislature last spring that would have legalized same-sex marriage. The law was put on hold after conservatives launched a petition drive to repeal it in a referendum.

Gay marriage has now lost in every single state - 31 in all - in which it has been put to a popular vote. Gay-rights activists had hoped to buck that trend in Maine.