Marion County, Oregon Judge Vance Day is currently under investigation by the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability for refusing to perform same-sex marriages while continuing to perform heterosexual marriages. Day is a former chairman of the Oregon Republican Party and was appointed to the bench in 2011 by then Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber.
When a federal court ruling legalized same-sex marriage in Oregon, Day ordered his staff to refer all same-sex couples seeking marriages to other judges. He subsequently decided to stop performing marriages altogether last fall, although he performed one as late as March of this year that had already been scheduled.
Day declined to comment in an email, and referred all questions to spokesman Patrick Korten. Korten stated,
He made a decision nearly a year ago to stop doing weddings altogether, and the principal factor that he weighed was the pressure that one would face to perform a same-sex wedding, which he had a conflict with his religious beliefs.
The Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct recently ruled that judges cannot refuse to marry same-sex couples for personal, moral or religious reasons. Day’s actions call into question his judicial integrity and how LGBTQ people would be treated in his courtroom.
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