Judge Vance Day of Marion County, Oregon, is being investigated by the Commission on Judicial Fitness for refusing to perform same-sex weddings, and was approved Thursday for a legal defense fund.
"He made a decision nearly a year ago to stop doing weddings altogether, and the principal factor that he weighed was the pressure that one would face to perform a same-sex wedding, which he had a conflict with his religious beliefs," spokesman Patrick Korten told CBS News
After a federal court made same-sex marriage legal in Oregon in May 2014, Day asked his staff to refer same-sex couples to other judges. In the fall, he decided to stop doing marriages of all kinds, but did make an exception for a wedding in March that had been long scheduled.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage this year, the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness opened an ethics investigation into Day's conduct. The specifics of the investigation are sealed, but likely to be released to the public when completed.
NBC affiliate KGW reported
that the commission doesn't have to publicize the complaint until it schedules a public hearing.
"We have no problem with releasing it," Korten said, speaking on Day's behalf.
In an Aug. 19 affidavit, Day noted that he'd asked The Oregon Government Ethics Commission for permission to start a legal defense fund. That fund was unanimously approved on Thursday, The Oregonian reported
Day is a former chairman of the Oregon Republican Party. He was appointed to the bench in 2011 by then-Gov. John Kitzhaber.
The approval of Day's defense fund came the same day that Kim Davis, clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, was jailed after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
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