Unions were happy. The nuclear power industry was not. Women's rights advocates suffered setback. Homosexuals broke even. And gamblers lost three straight rolls of the dice.

On more than 200 issues in 38 states, voters in Tuesday's elections spoke out on everything from nuclear power plants in Hawaii and Montana to gay rights and casino gambling in Florida - with a grab-bag assortment of messages about the current mood of the American people.

Unions won a major victory in Missouri, where voters, by a 3-to-2 ratio, rejected a right-to-work proposal that would have outlawed closed shops requiring workers to join unions or pay union dues to keep their jobs. Rejection of the iniative was coupled with defeat of right-to-work advocates in gubernatorial races in New Mexico, Idaho and Wyoming.

With 20 states already in the right-to-work column, union leaders feared approval of the Missouri proposal would trigger anti-union efforts in other states and possibly a push for a national right-to-work law.

The major setback to the nuclear power industry came in Montana, where voters approved regulations that will make it more difficult if not impossible to build nuclear power plants.Ironially, Montana has no such plants or plans for them. But the vote was significant as a possible bell-weather. Hawaii also approved nuclear power plant controls.

The oil industry fared better in California. Over objections from environmentalists, voters approved construction of a $163 million terminal to receive Alaskan crude oil for shipment by pipeline to Texas.

On other issues, equal rights initiatives were rejected in Florida and Nevada, homosexuals fended off losses in California and Seattle, and voters said no to betting at casinos in Florida, jai alai games in New Jersey and race tracks in Virginia.

Here is a state-by state breakdown of some of Tuesday's votes on ballot issues:

California - A constitutional amendment to let school boards fire teachers who practice or advocate homosexuality was rejected, along with a proposal to ban or limit smoking in public places and on the job. The number of crimes for which the death penalty may be imposed was expanded.

Florida - Miami Beach voters turned down casino gambling, while Dade County voters refused to approve an expanded version of a gay rights ordinance that they repealed by referendum just a year ago. State voters also vetoed a constitutional amendment to ban sex discrimination.

Mississippi - In an attempt to modernize their 88-year-old constitution, voters wipes out obsolete language that banned dueling, required racial segregation in public schools and stipulated that the state librarian must be a woman.

North Dakota - By a 3-to-1 ratio, an initiative to allow the state health officer to set maximum rates for health services ranging from doctors' fees to prescription drugs was turned down.

Oregon - Over stiff and well-financed opposition from dentists, voters, decided to let technicians fit and install false teeth. They also restored the death penalty for some crimes but refused to approve cutting off use of state funds for abortions.

Nevada - With a Catholic bishop and officials of the Mormon Church leading the opposition, a proposal asking the legislature to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment was turned down by more than 2 to 1.

Wyoming - By nearly 2 to 1, voters approved repeal of a constitutional ban on women working in mines, but the proposal fell short of a majority of all votes cast in the election and thus failed.

Washington State - Voters passed an anti-busing measure aimed at nullifying Seattle's new school busing plan. It prohibits children from being bused beyond the school nearest their homes. Seattle voters turned back an anti-gay-rights initiative to repeal existing laws banning housing and job discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Massachusetts - An anti-busing proposal to prohibit use of race as a criterion for assigning children to any Massachusetts school was approved, 3 to 1, although it will have no effect on Boston's court-ordered busing program.

Nebraska - A proposal to impose a 5-cent deposit charge for beverage containers was turned down (a 10-cent deposit fee was also rejected in Alaska).

Michigan - Voters raised the minimum legal age for drinking to 21 while in Montana they raised it to 19.