GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney slammed a Tuesday appellate court ruling that would overturn Californias ban on gay marriage.

Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage, he said in a Tuesday statement.

This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values.

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”

Conservatives have expressed concerns about Romneys record on social issues, and are suspicious he would not strongly oppose gay marriage if elected. But Romney has said he is against same-sex marriage.

Tuesday’s ruling forces the issue back into the spotlight, and while Romney prefers to talk about economic issues, this topic provides him an opportunity to brush up on his social conservative bona fides.