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RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina's top law enforcement official says he'll vote against a proposed constitutional amendment on next month's ballot that would make clear traditional marriage is the only recognized domestic legal union in the state.

Attorney General Roy Cooper spoke against the referendum in an email to supporters Wednesday. He called the proposal for the state constitution unclear, unwise and unnecessary. Cooper said the proposal also lacked careful deliberation.

Lawyers and other professionals have joined anti-amendment activists in arguing the changes would deny some children health insurance and weaken domestic violence laws and child custody rules. A pro-amendment group didn't immediately respond to Cooper's announcement but its representatives have said any negative effects alleged have been overstated by opponents.

Both sides in the debate started running television ads this week.

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