Proponents of gay marriage in California released new ads Wednesday attacking GOP candidates Meg Whitman and Steve Cooley for supporting the state's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8.

In the ads, sponsored by California's largest gay rights advocate, Equality California, Whitman, who is running for governor, and Cooley, the GOP's nominee for attorney general, are blasted for saying they would defend the gay marriage ban in court.

“Shame on Meg Whitman” for being willing to spend possibly millions defending Proposition 8 when California is suffering from big budget woes and high unemployment, a male announcer says in one ad.

The script is nearly identical in the Cooley ad.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, and Whitman's Democratic rival, Attorney General Jerry Brown, have refused to defend the 2008 voter-approved gay ban, which was ruled unconstitutional last month.

In remarks made before speaking at the opening of the state's three-day GOP convention in San Diego last month, Whitman, a former CEO of, made it clear that as governor she would have handled the situation differently.

She said the men have an obligation to defend the Constitution and to “enable the judicial process to go along.”

“So if I was governor, I would give that ruling standing to be able to appeal to the circuit court,” she said.

Cooley said that he would defend the gay marriage ban in court because the “proper role of an attorney general is to enforce and defend the will of the people as manifested through the initiative or legislative process.”

The decision “should be appealed and tested at a higher level of our legal system,” Cooley said in a statement. “The California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 by a 6 to 1 vote and declared it to be constitutional. Likewise, if the voters had approved an initiative legalizing same-sex marriage and a federal judge had ruled against it, I would also support an appeal of that decision.”

Cooley's rival, Democrat Kamala Harris, has promised to “never defend the anti-LGBT Proposition 8 in federal court.”

Both ads will begin airing in five major California markets – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and Palm Springs – next week, Equality California said.