Oregon GOP Senate Candidate Unveils Pro-Gay Marriage Ad
A Republican Senate candidate in Oregon is bucking the GOP by embracing gay marriage in a new campaign ad.
The ad, from the campaign of Dr. Monica Wehby who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, prominently features a gay couple - Ben West, of Portland, who filed a lawsuit in 2013 with partner Paul Rummell to overturn Oregon's same sex-marriage ban that went into effect in 2004.
Their case was combined with other Oregon couples who also sought the right to marry after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2012. Oregon's same-sex marriage ban was later ruled unconstitutional.
Wehby's ad features photos and videos of West and Rummell on their wedding day and cheering after winning their court case. It closes with a photo of West and Wehby smiling together, where West says Wehby will "fight for every Oregon family, including mine."
The majority of the Republican Party has opposed gay marriage, making Wehby a maverick in her party.
Along with the ad, West and Rummell also endorsed Wehby in a statement: "Monica is the leader our state needs to create better paying jobs, a stronger economy, and a future that delivers on the promise of building better opportunities for the next generation."
In her own statement Wehby, who is aiming to broaden her appeal to pro-gay marriage voters in the solid blue state, said that she is "proud and humbled to have the support and Ben and Paul. Their courage to stand up for their family and against inequality is inspiring and embodies the spirit I will serve with as Oregon's next Senator."
Wehby is currently the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Randall Children's Hospital in Portland. She has also served as a Republican Precinct Committee Person, as president for both the Oregon Medical Association and Portland Medical Society and on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.