PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers have become the first NBA team to publicly support marriage equality for same-sex couples.
The team said in a brief statement that it supports the “Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative,” which is expected to go before Oregon voters in 2014.
“The Portland Trail Blazers are in support of the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection ballot initiative. We do so as believers in individual choice as a fundamental right of all people,” the statement said.
Oregon United for Marriage, the coalition working to put the initiative on the ballot, has worked with volunteers to collect more than 94,000 signatures in support of the initiative. They must collect 116,284 valid signatures from registered Oregon voters before next July to put the initiative on the November 2014 ballot.
If approved, the ballot measure would repeal the state’s current constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and grant same-sex couples the right to marry in Oregon.
The Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns FC — the city’s men’s and women’s professional soccer teams respectively — have also endorsed the ballot initiative.