Oregon Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby is touting her support for gay marriage in a new ad, an unusual move for a Republican and perhaps the only example of such an ad from a GOP Senate candidate this cycle.


The ad features Ben West, half of the couple that successfully sued to overturn Oregon’s ban on gay marriage.

“Marrying my husband was the happiest day of my life. I was proud of Oregon and our country,” West says in the ad.

He continues: “But there’s a lot of work left to do. Whether it’s standing up for equality, for the unemployed, or for the next generation, we need leaders who have the courage to do what’s right.”

West concludes by saying he supports Wehby because he knows “she’ll fight for every Oregon family, including mine.”

He and his husband, Paul Rummell, have endorsed Wehby as well.

The ad is an attempt to push back on charges from Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyMcConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback Warren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre MORE (D-Ore.) and the state’s Democrats that Wehby is too conservative for Oregon, which is traditionally a deep-blue state.

But it’s also a more explicit endorsement of gay marriage than Wehby had offered previously. When asked in May whether she’d support changing Oregon’s constitution to allow same-sex marriage, she demurred.

"I think this is an issue of personal freedom," she told Oregon Public Broadcasting Radio. "And I don’t think the government should be involved in those personal decisions.”

Merkley’s campaign spokeswoman Lindsey O’Brien said while the senator “welcomes [Wehby’s] election-eve change of heart” on gay marriage, it doesn’t change her position on other issues.

“But this new position won't distract Oregonians from the anti-middle class agenda Wehby shares with the oil billionaire Koch brothers and national Republicans. The Wehby/Koch agenda would gut the Clean Air Act, give big tax breaks to millionaires and make it cheaper and easier to ship jobs overseas, and couldn't be more damaging to Oregon's families,” O’Brien said.