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Nike Donates $280K to Marriage Equality Causes in Ore.

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Nov 21, 2013
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  (Source:AP Photo)

Officials from top sneaker company Nike have long supported marriage equality and now are donating $280,000 to overturn Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage, according to the Statesman Journal.

The money will be used to create a political action committee, called the Nike Equality PAC, which will work on gathering donations from Nike employees and Nike-affiliated companies in order to support gay marriage in Oregon. According to the Portland Business Journal, Nike, which is headquartered in Beaverton, Ore., donated $100,000 to start the PAC and its executives gave an extra $180,000.

"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," the Nike Equality PAC website reads. "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."

As the Statesman Journal reports, nearly two decades ago, Nike was one of the first companies to provide same-sex couples with benefits. In 2005, Nike officials supported efforts to pass a bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. Earlier this year, Nike execs signed a Supreme Court brief along with other businesses that urged the Justices to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

"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."

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