Press Releases

Monica Wehby: Wrong on LGBT Equality, Wrong for Oregon

May 08, 2014

Video: When asked if she would vote for ballot measure that would allow businesses to discriminate, Wehby refused to answer


Contact: Jamal Raad / jamal [at] dpo [dot] org / (503) 239-8631

PORTLAND, Oregon (May 8, 2014) – 

Monica Wehby would like the media to consider her a “moderate” on social issues.  She likes talking about personal freedom and other generalities, but she sure tries hard to stay away from any specifics. However, Wehby has a troubling record on marriage equality and LGBT discrimination issues that she is trying to hide from Oregon voters.
When asked about the measure that would allow discrimination against LGBT Oregonians, Wehby refused to answer, and tried dodging the question. WATCH.
“Monica Wehby’s positions on marriage equality and LGBT discrimination would do nothing to help loving, committed couples in Oregon who want to share their lives together free from discrimination,” DPO Chair Frank Dixon said. “Next week, a judge will hear oral arguments on whether Oregon’s discriminatory ban on marriage equality will stand. Oregon Democrats stand together to say no to discrimination and yes to loving families’ freedom to marry.”

Monica Wehby’s record on LGBT equality

  • Claimed marriage equality is a “states’ rights” issue, but also said the state government shouldn’t be involved in marriage equality at all.
  • Refused to support the potential ballot measure that would lift the ban on marriage equality.
  • Refused to support the Employment Non- Discrimination Act, a bill in the Senate sponsored by Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley that would ban workplace discrimination for LGBT Americans.
  • Refused to oppose the potential ballot measure that would allow businesses to discriminate against Oregonians for their sexual orientation.
  • Agreed with other Senate candidates in attendance at rural Republican debate that marriage was between one man and one woman.


Wehby Said She Saw Gay Marriage As States’ Rights Issue. According to the Bend Bulletin, “She sees gay marriage as an issue for states, not the federal government. ‘As Republicans, we are all about personal freedom,’ she said. ‘That’s what our country was founded on: religious freedom and personal freedom. The federal government shouldn’t be involved in the marriage business.’” [Bend Bulletin, 4/27/14]
When Asked If The Oregon Constitution Should Change So That LGBT Individuals Could Marry, Wehby Said The Government Shouldn’t Be Involved At All. During an interview on Oregon Public Broadcasting Radio, Wehby had the following interaction: “MILLER: Would you like the Oregon constitution to change so that marriage could be between two men for example or two women? WEHBY; Again, I think this is an issue of personal freedom. And uh I don’t think the government should be involved in those personal decisions.” [OPB, 5/6/14]
When Asked If The State Should Define Marriage At All, Wehby Said It Should Be Left To The Voters To Decide. During an interview on Oregon Public Broadcasting Radio, Wehby had the following interaction: “MILLER: So should the state define marriage at all then, and have anything to do with marriage? WEHBY: I think that, um, this again, like I was saying, is a state issue and I think it’s important to leave it to the voters, but I do think we have to allow um people, to respect people’s personal freedom as well.” [OPB, 5/6/14]
Oregonian: Wehby “Sounds Sympathetic To Gay Marriage;” But She Refused To Support Ballot Measure To Lift Oregon’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage. According to The Oregonian, “In an interview, she sounds sympathetic to gay marriage but didn’t say whether she supports the proposed ballot measure to lift Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage. ‘I think families are important, but as a Republican, I think liberty and freedom are important and we should respect that,’ she says. ‘I don’t think that government again should be involved in personal decisions. I think that they shouldn’t be telling you who you love, who you live with, what you do with your health care.’” [The Oregonian, 2/28/14]
Wehby Refused To Take Position On ENDA, Said She Wasn’t Familiar Enough With The Bill. According to the Oregonian, “Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley on Thursday guided U.S. Senate passage of a landmark bill that would prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bipartisan 64-32 vote in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act marked the first time the Senate voted to include gays and transgendered people under the protection of the nation's civil rights laws… Merkley, who faces re-election next year, also didn't face criticism on the issue from his would-be Republican challengers back in Oregon. His two major GOP rivals in the race, state Rep. Jason Conger of Bend and Portland neurosurgeon Monica Wehby, both said they were not familiar enough with the bill to say whether they would support it.” [Oregonian, 11/7/13]
Wehby Said Religious Groups “Or Other Groups” Shouldn’t Be Forced To Perform Ceremonies That They Don’t Believe In. During a “DoveTV” interview, Wehby said, “We are Republicans, and we believe that the government should not be micro-managing our lives. And I believe that in this situation as well, this is a personal decision for people. I don’t think that the federal government should be involved in the marriage business. I think we should respect each other’s personal rights, and, in doing so, I also don’t think that we should force religious groups or other groups to perform ceremonies that they don’t believe in.” [DoveTV Interview, 3/25/14]
Wehby Wouldn’t Answer Whether She Thought Businesses Should Be Allowed To Discriminate Against Gay Customers. During an interview on KGW’s Straight Talk, Wehby had the following interaction, “MODERATOR: In November there’s likely to be an initiative that will ask people whether they support letting businesses refuse services for single—same sex couples that are going to get married based on the business owners own religious beliefs. Would you support that initiative? …WEHBY: I think that um, the federal government should not be involved in determining who you care about and who you live with and who you love and I don’t think this is a federal issue. MODERATOR: But what about people as far as, in Oregon? Should businesses be allowed to refuse service—say a bakery—to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple if it violates their religious beliefs? WEHBY: I think when it comes to respecting personal freedom we do have to respect everyone’s personal freedom. I do believe that we should not expect religious institutions to perform ceremonies that they don’t believe in but I also think it’s unfair to discriminate against people as well.” [KGW Straight Talk, 4/26/14]
After Repeatedly Being Pressed, Wehby Still Couldn’t Give Simple “Yes” Or “No” Answer To Whether Allowing Businesses To Discriminate Was OK. During an interview on KGW’s Straight Talk, Wehby had the following interaction, “MODERATOR: So businesses—I’m trying to get your answer here—so businesses should not be allowed to refuse services, or should they be allowed to if it violates their religious freedom? WEHBY: I believe religious institutions shouldn’t be forced to perform ceremonies that are against what they believe because they are religious institutions, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to discriminate against people. PORTER: So bakeries should have to sell, to make the cake for a gay couple? WEHBY: I don’t think we should discriminate against people for that. PORTER: Dr. Wehby thank you so much.” [KGW Straight Talk, 4/26/14]
At Rural Republican Debate, Wehby Reportedly Agreed With Other Senate Candidates “That Marriage Was Between One Man And One Woman.” According to the Baker County Press, “Volunteers from the Baker County Republican Central Committee sponsored and organized a public candidates' forum, which was held Wednesday evening at the Sunridge… When faced with the gay rights questions, all five candidates mentioned a belief that government had no business being “in the marriage business.” The consensus among all candidates was that marriage was between one man and one woman, but Conger pointed to Oregon’s existing civil union laws, which give the same legal rights without the spiritual aspect.” [Baker County Press, 1/24/14]