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Tuesday February 07, 2012 | 03:55 PM

Rep. Chellie Pingree, who last week took to the House floor to make a pitch for Maine voters to legalize same-sex marriage, today applauded a federal appeals court’s ruling that California's ban on same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

“The Court in California made it very clear that a law banning same-sex marriage does nothing more than make one group of people second-class citizens,” Pingree said in a statement. “This case will certainly go to the Supreme Court and there is still a long way to go on the road to full marriage equality, but this is a hopeful sign.”

Pingree, D-1st District, said on the House floor last week that Congress has made progress “on ending discriminatory practices like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but it will be up to us in Maine to bring marriage equality to our state.”

Advocates of gay marriage submitted more than 105,000 signatures to the Maine Secretary of State’s office seeking to place the same-sex marriage question on the fall ballot. In 2009, Maine voters overturned a law passed by the Legislature to allow same-sex marriage.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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