Nike Donates $280,000 To Overturn Ban On Same-Sex Marriage In Oregon

Sporting goods giant Nike, is throwing its full support and money behind a campaign to overturn Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage by donating $280,000 to the cause through the creation of a political action committee (PAC).

Portland Business Journal reported that the PAC, called the Nike Equality PAC, initially received a $100,000 donation from the company to start the PAC and its executives donated the remaining $180,000.

Nike, which has approximately 44,000 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Oregon, was one of the first companies to offer domestic partner benefits nearly 20 years ago.

“Nike is fully supportive of the initiative to create marriage equality so all our employees are treated fairly and with respect in the workplace and the community,” according to the Nike Equality PAC website. “We believe that diversity drives innovation, and allows us to attract and retain world class talent. For Oregon businesses to attract and retain the best talent, we need fair and equitable laws that treat all Oregonians equally and prevent discrimination.”

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Nike executives signed a U.S. Supreme Court brief submitted by businesses earlier this year, that asked the court to recognize same-sex marriage at the federal level.

“Nike has just stood up for marriage equality in an unprecedented way, with a monumental financial contribution to support the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative,” said Mike Marshall, campaign manager for Oregon United for Marriage. “Nike has been a leader for marriage equality, and this incredible move puts Nike out front among Oregon businesses who are taking a stand for winning the freedom to marry for Oregon’s same-sex couples. We are so proud and grateful for their generous support.”

The PAC has collected about 115,000 of the 116,284 signatures needed to put the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative on the ballot for 2014, according to Statesman Journal.

Nike also launched a special pro-LGBT edition of sportswear and shoes earlier this summer:

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