Maine voters approved Question 1 on Tuesday, becoming the first voters in the nation to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote, the Associated Press projected around midnight.

With more than 85 percent of precincts reporting, 53 percent of voters approved allowing same-sex couples to marry with 47 percent opposed, according to unofficial results compiled by the Bangor Daily News.

“Maine voters chose freedom over fear,” Shenna Bellows, executive director of the ACLU of Maine, said in a statement.  “Our work continues, but this win confirms that one-on-one conversations with friends and neighbors can effect statewide change.  This victory was grounded in courage and freedom of speech by thousands of people who dared to tell their personal stories over and over again.”

Although supporters declared victory, opponents had yet to concede the race as of  early Wednesday morning.

Tuesday's vote came three years after 53 percent of Maine voters overturned a same-sex marriage law enacted by the Legislature and signed by then-Maine Gov. John Baldacci in 2009.

Six states plus Washington, D.C. already allow same-sex couples to marry, three other states recognize marriages of same-sex couples performed elsewhere, according to a release from the Maine ACLU.

Maine was one of four states in which voters were asked to approve to same-sex marriage on Tuesday. Maryland voters also supported same-sex marriage. Results were still coming in from Minnesota and Washington.