Openly gay NBA veteran Jason Collins will attend a kick-off event next month for a nascent Oregon gay marriage group which includes several Republicans.

Freedom Oregon will help support a ballot initiative which seeks to repeal the state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

The Oregonian reported that the group includes several Republicans and is being organized by Elaine Franklin, the wife of former Senator Bob Packwood, a Republican.

Franklin, who considers herself an independent, said the group is “clearly fighting against the national brand” of the Republican Party, which is officially opposed to same-sex marriage. “But Oregon Republicans have done this before,” she added.

Freedom Oregon will hold its kick-off event in Portland on February 20 at the Cerulean Wine Bar.