Columbia Sportswear CEO announces support for same-sex marriage

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In a forward leap of support for the LGBT community, Columbia Sportswear will support the proposed 2014 initiative that aims to repeal the ban of same-sex marriage in Oregon and have it legalized. Backers of the measure are still gathering signatures, but it is highly likely to qualify for the ballot.

Several privately-held companies are beginning to announce their support for the measure but Columbia, which posted $1.7 billion in revenues last year, is the biggest company to take a stand for the equal rights.

Columbia CEO Tim Boyle—who is Colombia’s largest individual shareholder—told Willamette Week (WW) that he would personally support the measure, as well. He also admitted that he did not consult with his board at all, prior to making the decision to go public.

“It doesn’t make any sense to exclude people from the constitutional rights they should have,” Boyle told the publication. “Frankly, this should have happened a long time ago.”

The CEO added that the decision was not a difficult to make.

Boyle, who has given nearly $300,000 in state and local races since 2006, says neither he nor the company has yet been asked to contribute to the 2014 campaign for Oregon United for Marriage.

“We’ll review that decision at the time we are asked,” Boyle concluded.

429Magazine

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