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Equality California, the state's leading gay-rights advocacy group, is targeting Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and GOP attorney general nominee Steve Cooley with new ads on Proposition 8.

The ads seek to tie an appeal of federal Judge Vaughn Walker's decision to overturn the 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage to the state's fiscal woes, arguing California cannot afford to get involved in the legal challenges. The ads claim the state could spend up to millions in taxpayer dollars on an appeal, a figure an EQCA spokeswoman said was based on staff time and resources required to get involved in the litigation, as well as the possibility that the state would be liable for reimbursing the plaintiff's attorneys' fees if the initial challenge to the law prevails.

Whitman, who opposes same-sex marriage but supports civil unions, has said she believes the governor is legally bound to defend the law passed by voters and would appeal Walker's ruling. Cooley has also said he would defend Proposition 8.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown both declined to join a challenge of the ruling.

The ads, which you can watch below, will run on cable news stations --CNN, FOX and MSNBC -- in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and Palm Springs markets, according to the group. They will begin airing next week.

This post was updated at 11:07 a.m. with additional information from the EQCA spokeswoman.


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