Sporting goods giant Nike Inc. has recently created a political action committee with the specific goal of legalizing marriage equality in Oregon.
Nike’s statement issued Tuesday afternoon says:
Nike is fully supportive of the initiative to create marriage equality so our employees are treated fairly and with respect in the workplace and the community.
We are committed to diversity and inclusion and strive to treat our employees equally. 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.”
To support the efforts to bring marriage equality to Oregon, Nike has created the Nike Equality PAC to help raise funds from Nike-affiliated donors in support of marriage equality. We chose to set up the Nike Equality PAC so that Nike, and its employees if they choose, have a specific avenue to support campaign efforts that are directly related to winning marriage equality in Oregon.
The PAC will give employees a specific avenue to support efforts, such as the Oregon United for Marriage campaign, that are directly related to winning marriage equality for the state. The Portland Business Journal notes that the company donated $100,000 to start the PAC, with its executives donating the remaining $180,000.
“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 begins with $280,000: A
$100,000 contribution from Nike and another $180,000 from Nike executives.
Nearly 20 years ago, Nike was one of the first companies to extend benefits to same-sex couples.
In 2011, Nike was one of the 60 companies that filed an amicus brief opposing DOMA.