Nike on Tuesday endorsed a proposed initiative that seeks to repeal Oregon's 2004 gay marriage ban and legalize such unions in the state.

The company announced the creation of the Nike Equality PAC to raise money in support of the effort.

Nike seeded the PAC with $280,000.

“We chose to set up the Nike Equality PAC so Nike had an avenue to support campaign efforts that are directly related to winning marriage equality in Oregon,” Nike spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi said in a written statement. “Also … it is important that our company's contribution only support efforts related to marriage equality versus other political issues or ballot measure campaigns, and we want to offer this option to our employees as well.”

Mike Marshall, campaign director for Oregon United for Marriage, applauded Nike's move.

“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,” Marshall said. “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.”

Nike, which is headquartered in Washington County, was also among the companies that supported passage of a marriage equality referendum last year in Washington state.