A Hitler-loving, gay-hating Oregon judge who refused to perform same-sex marriages because of “sincerely held religious beliefs” has been found “unfit” for the bench.
The Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability is urging the state Supreme Court to remove Judge Vance Day from the bench, according to a report filed by The Oregonian.
On Monday, the commission released a 48-page report detailing what it described as a long list of ethical and even criminal missteps it found Day committed. Among the most egregious was the commission’s finding that Day refused to marry same-sex couples and told his office staff to lie about why.
The nine-member panel made the rare recommendation of removing Day from the bench after determining in a two-week hearing that Day had undermined public trust by refusing to marry same-sex couples.
The commission sent its formal recommendation to the Oregon Supreme Court this week, accusing Judge Day of discrimination based on sexual orientation, among other serious charges.
The commission found:
His misconduct is not isolated. It is frequent and extensive.
The commission charges Judge Day “willfully” violated ten different rules of the Code of Judicial Conduct, including his refusal to officiate at the marriages of same-sex couples.
The commission said whenever a same-sex couple asked Judge Day to officiate, he told his staff to lie about his availability and direct them to another judge. Judge Day did not dispute that practice, but argued same-sex couples were not denied their rights because another judge was always found to marry them.The commission report notes:
Day asserts that this system of discrimination ‘accommodated’ same sex couples. The idea that a discriminatory practice is a positive ‘accommodation’ to those being discriminated against shows a deplorable lack of understanding of the most basic concepts of impartiality.
Raw Story reports Day made national news last year after including a portrait of Hitler in a “Hall of Heroes” gallery he set up at the Marion County Courthouse. The county’s presiding judge ordered Day to remove the portrait of the Nazi leader, and Day eventually agreed to remove the Hitler portrait. However, the commission found that he was reimbursed twice by taxpayers for the $879 he spent having the portrait of Hitler matted.
Day, the former chair of Oregon’s Republican Party and a conservative Christian who claims his religious beliefs don’t allow him to marry same-sex partners, says he will fight for his job at a state Supreme Court hearing scheduled for June 15.