Timbers, Paulson back Oregon's same-sex marriage drive

Timbers, Paulson back Oregon's same-sex marriage drive
Portland Timbers and Thorns Owner Merritt Paulson and his teams back a pending Oregon same-sex marriage measure.

The Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns, as well as the teams’ owner Merritt Paulson, have thrown their support behind an initiative that would make it legal for same-sex couples to marry in Oregon.

The organizations, in a video announcement issued by Timbers COO Mike Golub, have backed the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative, which the Oregon United for Marriage group hopes to put on the November 2014 ballot.

The teams are also the first U.S. professional sports franchises to endorse a same-sex marriage ballot campaign.

“We are proud to support Oregon United for Marriage and its efforts to secure the freedom to marry for all Oregonians next November,” Paulson said in a release.

“Oregon is uniting to affirm the freedom to marry at the ballot next November, and we are proud to have the Timbers, Thorns FC, and Merritt Paulson join our coalition as leaders among sports organizations,” added Jeana Frazzini, Oregon United for Marriage’s chair, in the same release.

In the video, Golub said same-sex marriage is a “fundamental right.”

The Portland Business Alliance announced last month it supports the measure while Columbia Sportswear Co. CEO Tim Boyle backed the notion last week. Major League Soccer, the league in which the Timbers play, also announced an anti-discrimination campaign last summer.

The Portland Business Journal is a KATU news partner.