Pro-marriage judge facing ethics charges defends decision to not ‘marry’ same-sex couples
SALEM, OR, November 11, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – An ethics hearing is underway for an Oregon judge who refused to perform same-sex “marriage,” a probe his attorney says will test whether conservative judges are allowed to hold traditional beliefs on marriage.
As Marion County Circuit Judge Vance Day fights the probe, now four days into a two-week hearing, his attorney says Day is a test subject for those who want him and others gone from the bench.
“He’s the vehicle by which this issue is being litigated in Oregon,” said Ralph Spooner, according to Northwest News Network. “He’s the one they picked on. He’s got the target on his back."
Day is being hit with numerous charges, including allegations that he treated same-sex couples unequally to heterosexual couples.
A supporter of natural marriage, Day declined to perform same-sex ceremonies and subsequently decided to stop overseeing all such unions.
While Oregon judges are not required to perform marriages, the Judicial Commission's attorney said that “when a judge in Oregon takes an oath, they must uphold the law, even when it’s a challenge to the judge."
The allegation is the most serious, but several complaints have been lodged against Day. He has been accused of hanging a picture of Adolf Hitler in his courthouse – something he said was done to honor those who defeated the Nazi leader – and of soliciting money from attorneys who argue cases in front of him.
Other charges include, but are not limited to, threatening a referee, letting a felon handle a gun, and lying to ethics investigators, according to the Associated Press.
Day has argued that the attorney funds go to patriotic displays to help veterans appearing in court and denies the remaining charges.