Portland Trailblazers Come Out in Support of Gay Marriage

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 16 2013 6:22 PM

Portland Trailblazers Come Out in Support of Gay Marriage

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A man holds up a sign at a rally for gay rights at the Oregon State Capital on March 7, 2007.

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images

Here's something we missed last week: the Portland Trailblazers became the first NBA team to go public in support of same-sex marriage rights. With the “Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative” that would enshrine gay marriage rights set to be on the ballot in Oregon in 2014, the Portland Trailblazers publically backed the measure.

In a press release, the franchise said: “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.”

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This week, Oregon became the 20th state to have a marriage equality lawsuit filed challenging the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, according to the Huffington Post. The state’s biggest pro sports team joins a growing list of businesses that have voiced support for the bill, including Adidas America and Columbia Sportswear. But, it was not the first pro team to back same-sex marriage, the state’s professional men’s and women’s soccer franchises–the Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns FC–beat the Blazers to the punch. The clubs made this announcement, apparently making them the first American professional sports teams to come out in support of gay marriage.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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