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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's Same-Sex Marriage Campaign Finds Some GOP Support

Chantal Andrea/File photo
A ballot initiative to legalize same-sex marriage could be on the Oregon ballot in 2014.

Some prominent Oregon Republicans announced Wednesday that they are throwing their support behind a campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.

Oregon's constitution limits marriage to unions between one man and one woman, a restriction put there by voters a decade ago. As more and more states open up marriage to same-sex couples, Oregon voters could have a chance to remove that language at the ballot this fall.

Most prominent Democrats have endorsed the effort, including Governor John Kitzhaber. Republicans by and large have stayed on the sideline, until now.

A group led by political strategist Elaine Franklin is supporting the campaign. Franklin says legalizing same-sex marriage should appeal to Republicans who favor fewer government regulations.

"I mean these are strong Republican values, whether you are a conservative or a Republican of faith," she says. "Republicans believe in freedom and liberty."

The group includes Franklin’s husband, former U.S. Senator Bob Packwood. Also on board are two current GOP state lawmakers, as well as two former Republican statewide office holders.