Thursday, January 28, 2016

Judge Who Refused To Marry Same-Sex Couples Found "Unfit" for Bench

Anti-gay judge Vance Day
An Oregon state court judge who has refused to marry same sex couples has been unfit for the bench by the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness.  Like lunatic County Clerk Kim Davis, Judge Vance Day believes he is above the law and can ignore the rules of Code of Judicial Conduct, much like the judge who heard my divorce did even though the Virginia Code of Judicial Conduct bars anti-gay bias on the part of judges and requires that they refuse themselves if they cannot be unbiased.  The difference is that in Oregon, the judicial review body seemingly takes its oversight duties seriously whereas in Virginia, the Judicial Review Commission is a joke based on my personal experience.  I hope Judge Day is removed from the bench and that a message is sent that judges and court clerks are not above the law.  The New Civil Rights Movement looks at this development.  Here are highlights:
A judicial oversight panel investigating complaints against Marion County, Oregon, Judge Vance Day, has recommended that the State Supreme Court remove Judge Day from the bench. Judge Day came to the panel's attention in May of 2014 when he refused to officiate at the weddings of same-sex couples after Oregon legalized marriage equality.

The Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability sent its formal recommendation to the Oregon Supreme Court this week, accusing Judge Day of discrimination based on sexual orientation, among other serious charges.
"His misconduct is not isolated. It is frequent and extensive,” the commission found. 
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.

Day is only the sixth judge in the state since 2007 to have been referred for sanctions to the Supreme Court.
Virginia could stand to take some lessons from Oregon.

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