- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Advocates for marriage equality in Maine are celebrating the role played by Portland resident Mary Bonauto, the attorney who represented same-sex couples in the case that on Friday extended gay marriage nationwide.

Bonauto is the civil rights project director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which argued the case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Equality Maine executive director Elisa Johansen said the group is honored by Bonauto’s role, and called Bonauto “an incredible champion” for civil rights.

“We couldn’t be more proud, and we couldn’t be more honored that she lives in Maine,” Johansen said. “She did something amazing today.”

Equality Maine was planning to hold a midday rally in Bangor following the historic ruling, and more celebrations were planned in Portland and Ogunquit for later in the day. Bangor Pride Festival is this weekend.

Bonauto, who has been working with GLAD since 1990, said the ruling “brings joy and relief to millions of Americans.” She was in Washington, D.C., for the ruling.

“No single ruling can fix the scarring prejudice and stereotypes that have plagued good people for so long, but this can go a long way in helping people discover their common humanity,” she said.

Maine voters legalized same-sex marriage in November 2012.

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