McCain endorses Marriage Amendment

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain is endorsing a November ballot measure that would amend the California constitution to protect traditional marriage.

"I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman, just as we did in my home state of Arizona," the Republican senator said June 26 in an e-mail to the leaders of the ProtectMarriage.com campaign. "I do not believe judges should be making these decisions."

Ron Prentice, chairman of a statewide coalition of groups and individuals supporting the measure, quickly praised the endorsement.

"Senator McCain has articulated a key feature of the initiative campaign, which is that voters and not judges should be determining this issue," Prentice said.

In February, the state Supreme Court overturned a law protecting traditional marriages that was approved by more than 4 million voters in 2000. Those marriages began in California on June 17.

"Fortunately, voters will be able to correct that mistake in November and restore the definition of marriage to our constitution," Prentice said. "We look forward to working with Senator McCain and many other elected leaders to accomplish this."

Prentice also appealed to Democratic nominee Barack Obama to follow McCain's lead.