Once again, we have a public official -- a government official -- claiming he cannot perform his assigned duties under the Constitution and therefore trying to make himself into a martyr. Spare me the crocodile tears for him.
Marion County Circuit Judge Vance Day, a former chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, took steps Thursday to create a legal defense fund in an apparent response to his decision not to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Day took action because of what he described as "deeply-held religious beliefs," KGW reported.
"It's an exercise of his religious freedom rights under the First Amendment," Day spokesman Patrick Korten told the news station.
In recent months, Day has not performed any marriage ceremonies, KGW reported. His courtroom is in Salem.
The Oregon Government Ethics Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve Day's request to establish a legal defense fund.
Day noted in an affidavit signed Aug. 19 that he was seeking to establish the fund to defray legal expenses in connection with inquiries by the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability involving allegations of violations of the Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct and the Oregon Constitution.
If he were a minister, I'd say fare thee well and go ahead and refuse to perform any marriages, or just heterosexual marriages, because ministers and churches enjoy First Amendment protections and should have that right.
But when you are an employee of the people, you don't have that right. If this judge wants to stand on principle, he should step down from the bench and go find some fundie church to ordain him as a minister.
Of course, we should also mention that said judge is a former chairman of the local Republican party there. Are we surprised? Of course we aren't.