MEDIA RELEASE: Nike Steps Up to Lead with $280,000 to Support Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative
Nike Steps Up to Lead with $280,000 to Support Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative
PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, Oregon-based NIKE, Inc continued its leadership and support of the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative by providing $280,000 dollars toward efforts to help extend the freedom to marry to all of Oregon’s loving, committed same-sex couples.
“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,” says 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.”
Nike has a long history of supporting equality. It was one of the first companies nearly 20 years ago to extend benefits to partners of either gender. In 2000, the company extended those benefits to the dependents of domestic partners.
In 2005, Nike was a national business trailblazer in supporting Oregon’s groundbreaking legislation to secure employment non-discrimination for the LGBT community and civil unions for same sex partners. In 2007, Nike built an Oregon business coalition to help successfully pass the state-level non-discrimination and civil unions legislation.
Nike has been a long-time supporter of federal employment non-discrimination legislation, and was also one of the lead companies to sign onto the business community amicus brief earlier this year before the US Supreme Court supporting the end of federal marriage discrimination and enabling recognition of same-sex civil marriage at the U.S. federal government level.
Nike has supported marriage equality and LGBT non-discrimination legislation in other U.S. states. Earlier in 2013, Nike began to help build business community support for the proposed Oregon initiative, the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative, which would extend the freedom to marry in Oregon to same-sex couples while protecting religious institutions’ ability to perform marriages consistent with their beliefs. Nike has consistently received 100% scores from the Human Rights Campaign for more than a decade.
The freedom to marry the person you love is a basic freedom that should not be denied to anyone. As of today, Oregon United for Marriage has collected 115,080 signatures on the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative; 116,284 valid signatures are required to qualify for the November 4, 2014 ballot.