Oregon voters narrowly favor legalizing equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

According to a Public Polling Policy (PPP) survey of 686 voters conducted between June 21 and 24, 46 percent of respondents support legalizing gay nuptials, while 45 percent remain opposed.

A large majority (74%) of voters in the Beaver state support legal recognition of gay unions with either marriage (44%) or civil unions (30%). Twenty-three percent say there should be no legal recognition of the relationships of gay couples.

Eighty percent of Republicans say they oppose marriage equality, while 11 percent support it. A majority of Democrats (74%) support it. And independents are more divided, with 48 percent opposed and 38 percent in favor.

Late last year, gay marriage advocates in Oregon decided against an effort to put the state's gay marriage ban up for a vote in 2012.

Basic Rights Oregon held several town hall style meetings and conducted an online survey on the issue before deciding against pursuing the effort because “we don't yet have the kind of consensus that would indicate a reasonable expectation of success.”