North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers has said she opposes a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the state.

Ellmers, a conservative Republican and tea party favorite, says the measure approved last month by lawmakers and sent to voters is too aggressive.

Voters in May will decide whether to bar the state from legalizing marriage, civil unions and possibly domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples.

Ellmers' office told Raleigh-based News Observer that she objects to gay marriage but won't vote in favor of the amendment because it would also ban civil unions.

“Congresswoman Ellmers has always believed that marriage is a sacred institution and is defined as the union between one man and one woman,” Tom Doheny, a spokesman for Ellmers, told the paper. “That is why she has and will continue to protect and defend marriage at the federal level.”

Ellmers “finds nothing wrong with people being granted” civil unions.

“As a voter, she would vote against a piece of legislation that would add a ban on civil unions to the protection of marriage since they are two different issues and should be dealt with separately,” he added.

R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans, said Ellmers' views were in line with those of most North Carolinians.

“It is one thing to disagree about marriage,” Cooper said in a statement, “but banning all recognition of gay and lesbian families crosses the line for many North Carolinians who want to see their gay neighbors, friends and family members treated with respect and dignity.”

(Related: Majority oppose North Carolina gay marriage ban amendment.)