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The California Supreme Court’s decision last week to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage has put a bright new spotlight on the issue of gay rights just six months before the November elections.

On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Broun, who is facing a tough GOP primary battle in northeast Georgia, announced he will be introducing a “marriage protection amendment” to keep the definition of marriage to be between one man and one woman.

“What the activist judges in California have shown is that the traditional definition of marriage is under assault by a cadre of lawyers and judges who hold the will of the voters in contempt,” Broun said in a statement Tuesday. “There simply is no basis for the suggestion that homosexual ‘marriage’ is a right protected by the United States Constitution.”

Broun came to Congress last year in a special election to fill the seat of the late Rep. Charlie Norwood (R), who died after a battle with lung disease. This year’s GOP primary race is shaping up to be a regional battle, pitting the Athens-based Broun against state Rep. Barry Fleming, who hails from Augusta. During his time in the state legislature, Fleming helped pass the Defense of Marriage amendment of 2004, which defined marriage in the Georgia constitution to be a union between a man and woman.

— John McArdle

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