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PORTLAND -- The Portland Trail Blazers, Timbers, and Thorns are the first major U.S. professional sports organizations to come out in support of same-sex marriage.

Supporters hope to get a measure to legalize gay marriage on the November ballot in 2014.

The Timbers and Thorns made the announcement through a statement from owner Merritt Paulson, saying the organizations are proud to support gay marriage.

Later, the Blazers also released a statement backing the effort, saying they are believers in individual choice as a fundamental right of all people.

Friday night was the annual gala for Basic Rights Oregon.

Amy Ruiz, a spokeswoman for Oregon United for Marriage said sports fans really laid the groundwork for the effort.

This is just incredible news. We were so excited to get the endorsement from the Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns. You know their fans have been remarkable on the issue. We have been collecting signatures at a lot of games for the last ten weeks or so, she said.

Over the summer, three of the Portland Thorns joined an effort called athlete ally, which is an initiative to end homophobia in sports.

More: Signature drive starts for same-sex marriage

Timber and Thorns COO, Mike Golub posted a video on YouTube announcing the teams' support of same-sex marriage.

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