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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Same-Sex Marriage Supporters File Initiative For 2014

Chantal Andrea/File photo

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon voters could decide next year whether to legally recognize same-sex marriages. Supporters of gay marriage submitted an initiative Monday aimed at putting such a question on the Oregon ballot in November of 2014.

Nine states including Washington issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But Oregon can't, since voters defined marriage as between one man and one woman nearly a decade ago. It would take a statewide vote to reverse that. So the gay rights group Basic Rights Oregon filed an initiative to overturn that Constitutional ban.

The group had decided against making such an attempt last year, but director Jeana Frazzini says the odds are now in their favor.

"We've seen tremendous change happening here in our own state and across the country. And we feel like there's strong support and an opportunity to continue to bring the community together in support of this effort."

Frazzini estimates it will cost several million dollars to run an effective campaign. Opponents to same-sex marriage, including the Oregon Family Council, say they’ve already been preparing a campaign against the measure.