The state of Oregon has been the leading edge of the liberal and gay lobby’s assault on Christians in America. The latest example of this war on Christianity is the case of Judge Vance Day. Judge Day is a Christian whose religious beliefs dictate that he not approve or participate in homosexual marriages/weddings. While other problems have come up in regards to Judge Day’s judgment, the evidence clearly shows that his stance on gay marriage is the main reason that he is now being investigated by Oregon’s Commission on Judicial Fitness. An article in the Oregonian last month seemed to agree.
Last week, word filtered out that Marion County Circuit Judge Vance Day was under investigation by the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability. The primary reason given at the time, according to Day’s spokesman, was his refusal to perform marriages out of concern that he would be asked to officiate over same-sex unions. That would conflict with Day’s deeply-held religious beliefs, according to Patrick Korten, Day’s spokesman.
It’s more than that, as we now know…
But Day still may have a point when he questions whether provisions of the judicial code of conduct infringe on his free-speech rights or are unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.
While Judge Day’s detractors point to a few other issues, the core problem for him seems to be his stance on gay marriage.
Most of the accusations range from insignificant to trivial. Among the things that the Judicial Fitness Commission considers violations of state ethics rules include handing his business card to a soccer referee who had asked for it; hanging displays of memorabilia honoring the service of American military veterans on the walls outside his office; and even hanging pictures of former presidents of the United States.
His fellow Oregon Judge, Thomas Kohl, faced a similar investigation for not performing marriages as well. Now the commission has found Judge Day unfit. He doesn’t plan on taking their ruling lying down. Judge Day is fighting back.
The unmistakable message in the Commission’s complaint is that anyone who has a personal religiously-based objection to same-sex marriage are to be forced to make a public display of approval or else suffer public condemnation and official sanction.
We hope you’ll agree that such a policy turns fundamental constitutional rights on their head, and that you’ll help Judge Day defeat this effort to overturn those rights. It will be an expensive battle and could potentially go to the U.S. Supreme Court. That will be possible only if people who share Judge Day’s desire to vindicate the rights of religious conscience will help support the legal battle to prevent the evisceration of these rights.
You know my husband, Vance. He has been a Circuit Court Judge here in Oregon for 4 years. In that short time, he has specially trained to identify and deal with domestic violence. He was asked to join national faculty to train other judges in this prevalent issue. He started the second and largest Veterans Treatment Court in Oregon. He has been asked to mentor the judiciary in other counties for establishing vets courts. He established the “Hall of Heroes” gallery at the Courthouse commemorating our local veterans in leadership positions to inspire his treatment court participants and bring awareness to vets issues.
Vance is now under attack by the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability because they say he is unfit to be a judge – he won’t perform same-sex marriage because of his faith and quietly decided to stop performing all marriages. The fact is that performing marriages is an optional part of his job – there is no requirement that Oregon judges perform marriages. (Please see www.defendjudgeday.com for more detailed information on the allegations)
The Commission has piled on other charges that have nothing to do with ethical conduct, perhaps to distract attention from the fact that the marriage issue is at the heart of their effort to discredit him in the public eye. These other charges are simply window dressing, in the hope that somehow quantity will make up for their lack of quality.
Their strategy seems to be to throw every thing possible at Judge Day, hoping something sticks. And, not incidentally, to make it very difficult and expensive to defend himself.
Vance’s task of mounting an effective defense is complicated by the fact that the Commission has an unusual amount of power in its investigation. They are prosecutor, judge and jury all rolled into one, and they have the very substantial financial advantages and other resources of the state government to draw upon. We, on the other hand, have to hire our own attorneys.
The politics of personal destruction is not a new idea. In Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky said:
“Denigrate your opponent, then box him in, so that he must defend the accusations, rather than be able to debate the issues.”
This state-sponsored power play against Vance will have a result of damaging “judicial independence” and creating a culture of politically correct “behavior and thought police” to monitor all judges. It appears the Commission intends to destroy him, but they don’t know my husband. Vance is a congenial, humorous fellow who is not afraid to be a fighter when it comes to things that matter! To Vance’s opponents, he is just a former Chairman of the Oregon Republican Party who was unfortunately appointed to the bench by a Democrat governor. What feels even worse to them is that he is a Christian believer who is an enthusiastic patriot that they think is biased and, therefore, he cannot be trusted.
To the Commission and certain far-left groups, Judge Day’s personal decision to respectfully and quietly remove himself from performing same-sex marriages cannot be tolerated – he must be branded a bigot and found to be unfit for public service. There is a “no tolerance” policy for people with traditional values regarding the institution of marriage.
Undoubtedly, there are many judges in this nation who will face the same type of ferocious attack. Vance appears to be the first judicial target since the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. The goal appears to be: make him an example so that other judges will not dare to push back on politically correct elites. However, they don’t know that Vance is a warrior who will not leave this battle until he wins or is expelled from office.
We need your help! In one month, my husband’s two week “ethics trial” will start: November 9 – November 20. We have competent and generous lawyers who have given many free hours to this case and reduced their rates because they believe in Vance. Nevertheless, we are discovering a case like this costs a fortune just to prepare considering numerous day-long depositions, hiring of experts, delivering subpoenas, and hiring investigators, let alone covering the copy charges.
To take this case through the end of the year we must raise $300,000. We have put in our savings and will sell our home, but we must have donations to finance this case in the next three weeks. Our friends at the James Madison Center for Free Speech have raised just over $50,000, bringing the total needed by November 1st down to $250,000. We need a whole bunch of people who will give $25, $50, or $100. We need to raise as much as possible in the next three weeks.
Will you please help?? Any amount really does make a difference. Please go to: www.defendjudgeday.com and make a commitment to raise $250 through your friends and family. There is a donation link on the website, which is really easy and secure. It will only take a few minutes. We must have $100k by Friday, October 16th, with a total of $250k by November 1.
Please stand with Vance. Please help him push back those who want to run people of faith out of public service. We all have First Amendment rights designed to protect us from this type of assault. If they win, who is next?
Make no mistake, religious liberty in America is under assault, and if we don’t stand now, we may not get another opportunity. We must remind America that religious liberty, for everyone, is one of the most important principles of our nation. Without religious freedom, we do not have freedom. The right of a man or woman to express his religious convictions in a way that does not hurt or infringe on the rights of others should always be protected. Punishing a judge, or a baker, or a photographer or a wedding planner or a florist for choosing to not participate in a gay wedding is tyranny; it is slavery and it is un-American. If forcing one perceived “right” onto a group of people means eliminating another enumerated, long-established and God-given right… then obviously something has gone terribly wrong.
Stand up with Judge Day, stand up for religious liberty, stand up for your children and for America.