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Republican Sen. Ben Westlund of Bend has been flooded with phone calls, mail, e-mail and facsimiles attacking him for his support of SB 1000, a measure that would allow same-sex Oregon couples to form civil unions and protect gay, lesbian and transgender individuals from discrimination. The Source Weekly submitted a freedom of information act request to Westlund’s office asking it to provide us with one day’s worth of e-mails on the topic—which are legally considered public records when they deal with public business. Westlund’s office complied.

What follows is a selection of those e-mails.

We are publishing these messages because we feel it is important for the public to get a sense of the tone of the opposition to SB 1000, and to know the extent and depth of the bigotry that exists in our community, among our neighbors, acquaintances and co-workers. The spelling, punctuation and grammar are as they were in the originals. We have omitted addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses but we have included the writers’ names, in the belief that people who are willing to make such statements should be willing to put their names on them.

And we are hereby conferring the Boot on every one of them.

Please tell me why anyone with a sane mind would back a corrupt bill like this one, which will cause no end of grief, lawsuits, force employers to hire objectionable people with aids to handle food, work in medical laboratories and other technical places that require complete sanitary conditions.

Where is all this freedom that everyone talks about? No one should be forced to accept against their will and better judgment a bill like sp 1000. This law if passed will promote incurable diseases costing the taxpayers a bundle of money, blocking our courts and also making the appearance of our places of business look like hell and give 3% of our population as much freedom as they want to force their vulgar way of life on 97% of the population, who don’t want it. Don’t forget that this bill sp 1000 only covers the people that flaunt sex ahead of everything else.

Norman Kneisel

I am opposed to this bill because the only thing that it really does is provide tax incentives for same sex couples. We do not need any more tax loop holes.

Leonard Peoples

Dear Senator Westlund,

We want you to know that we strongly oppose SB 1000 and the granting of a special status to people whom practice deviate homosexual behavior. Your support of homosexual behavior is unacceptable to us.

Douglas & Juanita King

I want to encourage you to vote in tandem with the constituants that sent you there, and not against the wishes of the magority of the voters that voted to preserve “marrige” as one man one woman.

TP Holdings LLC
Leon Methvin

Dear Senator Westlund

My wife and I didn’t send you to Salem to join Portland liberals and sponsor minority status for gays, lesbians and create same-sex civil unions!

Legislation has not been created for African Americans or Asians to give them special status. 57 percent of Oregonians voted to preserve marriage as only between one man and one woman. Civil unions is just another name for marriage.

Stan & Rita Kenniston

Senator Westlund- please wake up!

Obviously, all citizens need to have all rights protected. Those rights that you feel some are missing...simply address them.

There is no need to copy the north east states ... I.e. First issued marriage certificates, then when that failed, went to civil unions. Everything that you will include in SB 1000 can be handled in a “rights guaranteed” manner via legislation.

Although Multnomah County runs the Tate...please remember who asked you to be “our voice”.

Bruce Boylen (72 yr. Oregonian)

My wife, Sharon and I reside in Redmond, Or and while we are live long conservative Republicans, next election we are not going to vote for anyone - we intend to vote against you.......we just discovered that not only do you support SB1000 but you sponsored it. What in the world is wrong with you? Civil union is marriage under a different name....did you not follow the outcome of measure 36?

Ronald J. Sample

Dear Senator Westlund,

I am so disappointed to hear you are supporting SB 1000. Do you realize what you are doing? I voted for you with confidence believing that your morals were correct. Now, I see that my marriage and family really means nothing to you. You may never have to answer to my face, but you will someday answer to the creator of the universe for your deeds. He who seeks to please man first is a fool.

Jennifer Thomasson

Ben, we did not send you to Salem to go against 57 percent of Oregonians to sponsor bad public policy. Please change your vote to no on SB 1000

Wilma Patrick

Dear Senator,

I am writing to urge you to not endorse SB 1000. Please remember that over half of all voters recently communicated in a very clear and concise manner that they are proponents of marriage being defined as 1 man and 1 woman. My other concern is, what is going to happen if minority status is given to gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals & transgendered? The long term effects of this decision will be devastating to our culture and future generations. Please reconsider.

Thank you,
Joe & Zeitel Zachary

I guess you just don’t get it!!!! Oregon voted to preserve marriage between one man and one woman. We are totally ashamed of you for trying to circumvent our votes by promoting “civil unions” or anything of the like.

We are not haters of gay people, but promoting the gay agenda as a “normal lifestyle” is unacceptable.

We have always voted for you but that won’t happen again.

Elmer and Eleanor Reznicsek

Why you support this is beyond what the average guy can believe. You certainly don’t support families or the near 60 percent of Oregonians that voted to preserve marriage as one man and one woman. Typical Oregon politics. Ignore the voter and do what you want anyway. Better run as one of those Portland liberals next time around Ben because you sure wont be getting this family of Republicans votes when you run for re-election.

Ron Lane

Senator Westlund,

I’m contacting you to strongly urge you to oppose SB 1000. I am a pastor of a Messianic Jewish congregation in Bend Oregon, and am a registered voter. I have no wish to see SB 1000 passed. I agree with the Oregon family council: “ ... We didn’t send you to Salem to join with Portland liberals and sponsor minority status for gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgendered. And create same-sex civil unions.”

Just say no!

Mark Mclain

Dear Senator Westlund,

I have been a strong supporter of yours for several years now. I am a small business owner in the Bend area and want badly to support my local Republican leaders. I cannot however support you in the future if you continue your support of SB 1000. I believe this bill goes directly against the values that people (including myself) voted for when passing measure 36, and when we voted for you as our Senator. It is very important to me that people not be granted special rights just because they chose to engage in deviant behavior. This has been strongly represented in the way that I and a majority of Oregonians vote at election time.

Kole Whalen

Senator Westlund

Please vote no on SB 1000. We voted for you to represent the majority of citizens, not special interest groups consisting of liberals, gays and lesbians who want to support same sex marriages! As a taxpayer I find it unconscionable that you would even consider a bill that will ultimately result in teaching children that gay and lesbian relationships are normal and acceptable. Not in my America and not with my taxpayers dollars! Please consider what you’re about to do. Thank you.

James M. Morrell

As conservative Republicans in Bend. We strongly object to your support of SB 1000. You can count on losing our votes in the next election .

Fred and Jetta Bertsch

We did not vote you in so that you could join the liberals. We voted you in to do what we wanted and needed you to do for us. If you go thru with this we won’t be voting you in again, and we will let everyone we know hear what it is you are trying to do to us.

An interested Oregonian
Tina M. Berry

Dear Senator Westlund,

Oregonians voted clearly against same sex marriage during the last elections. The same people are opposed to same sex civil unions. We are the people who sent you to Salem to represent us, so when the time comes, vote no on SB 1000.

Same sex unions of any kind are wrong and go against the very fabric of the fundamental tenets this nation was founded on.

Best regards,
Andrew Shooks


Just a quick note letting you know Patty’s and my position in regards SB 1000.

Call it civil unions, call it marriage, call it whatever you want. Public confirmation of any union between two people is marriage.

This public act between the same sex is wrong ! Legally and morally. The strength of our society is proportional to the strength of our family. Our beautiful American society is having it’s struggles because the American family is having it’s struggles.

Please consider this question. Will this Senate bill that you are sponsering strengthen the American family?

When the American family is gone, America will be gone.

Ben, we respect you, we respect your judgment.

Have a great day, god bless always,

Dean & Patty Larkin

Please oppose SB 1000. We do not need this legislation; it’s bad public policy and unnecessary. Where is this country going We need more leaders who believe in religious values, and the fact that one man/one woman is a marriage...why all of a sudden after thousands of years do you want to change that? And most of the voters in Oregon voted not to change that. Please......... Oppose SB 1000.

E.L.J. Grandpierre and Mildred C. Grandpierre

Senator Westlund,

SB1000 is bad policy! It is social engineering at its liberal worse. Be the Republican you were voted into office to be! Vote no.

Toby Wilson


I was very disappointed to discover that you were sponsoring this bill. This is a slap at your constituents. We did not elect you to sponsor minority status for gays, lesbians, and etc. We soundly defeated single sex marriage and yet you are trying to throw it back in our face. I have supported you because I thought your standards were higher than this. If you want to work with the liberals of the Portland area that is your privilege, but you will loose my support along with a lot of other good Christian people, here in central Oregon, who will not tolerate this assault on our moral standards.

Richard T. Virgin

Senator Westlund

We did not send you to Salem to ignore 57 percent of the voters, or to join the Portland Liderals and sponsor minority status for gays, lesbisns, bi-sexuals, and the transgendered. We did not send to Salem to create same sex civil unions. 57 percent of the voters in Oregon voted to preserve marriage as only between one man and one woman. Do not go against the will of the voters of Oregon.

We Oregonians have voted by the majority to preserve marriage as only between a man & a woman so please oppose SB 1000

Harold F. Remmy and Carla K. Remmy

SB 1000 is a bad policy, we voted to preserve marriage as only between one man and one woman, Dont spin your way around that

Don Irvine

Dear Senator Ben Westlund

I object to your sponsorship and support of SB 1000. You are creating special rights for gays. With passage of this bill, in any dispute involving housing, employment or personal association, members of this group will allege discrimination based on sexual orientation, even if not present. No group is entitled to special rights under law, that are denied to everyone. SB 1000 is misguided and unfair.

Duane Hill

SB 1000 is bad public policy, because is creates special rights for one group of citizens at the expense of others. The charge of discrimination has become a weapon used by special groups to bludgeon those with whom they disagree. SB 1000 codifies this advantage in law. Gays are no more the target of discrimination than obese people, people with abrasive personalities, or ugly people. Quit trying to eliminate the differences and divergences in humanity, because when you create special rights for one group you deny the rights of others.

Sherry Hill

Hello - I am one of your constituents who voted you into office and am writing to you to strongly encourage you to not support Senate bill 1000. As a Republican I voted you into office to represent the Republican views and values that this country was founded upon, not to support the Portland liberals you now seem to be following and supporting! Maybe you should come to the districts and counties that supported you for office and voted you into office to reconnect with what we voted you into office to stand for! SB 1000 is bad public policy and by supporting it you are ignoring 57 percent of the Oregonians that expressed their views to preserve marriage and the very nature of a man and a woman. Unless you are ready to end your career as a Republican Senator, I urge you to rethink your position and remember who you are there to represent! If I learn of your support for SB 1000 you can count on myself and my husband voting against you in the next election!

Kellyanne Litton

Writing to have you withdraw SB 1000 and leave things as they are. Why do we always have to be changing. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

D. Buell

Dear Senator Westlund,

I am greatly disappointed that you have chosen to sponsor SB 1000, especially after Oregon voters passed by a 57 percent majority a measure that preserves marriage as only between one man and one woman. To now advocate for same-sex civil unions is merely to play a semantic game to get around the wishes of the state’s voters. I urge you to reconsider your vote for this bill.

Rod Morris

Senator Westlund,

I have been sent information about SB 1000 and have learned that this bill would change every Oregon law related to marriage and adds same-sex civil unions.

I voted with 57 percent of Oregon voters to preserve marriage as only between one man and one woman. And I am horrified to think that you would sponsor a bill that would try to force a change on the residents of Oregon that ignores the desire of the people.

Forcing our schools to teach our children, under the guise of “diversity education”, about gay (to be gay?) & lesbian ( to be lesbian?) And (have?) Bi-sexual relationships is not the responsibility of the Oregon school system but the responsibility of the parent/guardian to teach their child about gay, lesbian and bi-sexuality. The job of our schools is to teach academic subjects (reading, writing, arithmetic, science, technology) to our children so that they will be prepared to enjoy interesting, challenging, productive lives. Our schools need all the classroom time so that our Oregon children will not be left behind.

I am told the bill could require religious institutions and organizations to go against their faith. It could also cost Oregon private businesses thousands of dollars in health care and legal fees.

I urge you to oppose SB 1000.

Betty J. Hendricks
Republican Voter
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