Judge Vance Day and Kim Davis’ appeal have something in common. Their refusals to follow the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that gave same-sex couples the right to be married are reportedly based on their religious convictions, while at the same time causing some to question whether the LGBT community can be treated fairly within the judicial system.
For Judge Vance, the decision not to perform marriage ceremonies is being cited as part of the reason for a judicial fitness commission’s investigation into Day’s actions, reported CBS News.
Day began his no-same-sex marriages stance in May 2014. That was the month in which gay marriages were legalized in Oregon. At that time, the judge told staff members that when couples of the same sex came to his offices to be wed, they should provide referrals to different judges.
Judge Vance Day Stops Performing Weddings
Vance’s spokesman, Patrick Korten, also revealed that as of last autumn, Day has chosen to stop doing any weddings. Only one exception exists, and that is for a March wedding previously scheduled. Korten cited the judge’s religious beliefs as the key reason.
“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.”
The Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability is investigating various allegations, but the one that focuses on the judge’s refusal to perform same-sex weddings has become the most public. According to Korten, who did not detail the specifics of the investigation, the commission regards such complaints as confidential.
But the situation of Judge Vance Day has become publicized just as the Kim Davis appeal for a similar situation has hit the headlines. And while Davis, a Kentucky county clerk, landed in jail due to declining to provide same-sex couples with marriage licenses, Day also finds his position threatened because of his stance.
The judge’s appointment was made in 2011 by a Democrat, former Gov. John Kitzhaber.
The co-director of a gay-rights organization Basic Rights Oregon, Jeana Frazzini, expressed concern about the implications of a judge defying the U.S. Supreme Court ruling about LGBT marriages.
“Taking that kind of a step really calls into question how an LGBTQ person could expect to be treated in a court of law. It goes beyond marriage and gets to serious questions about judicial integrity.”
Kim Davis Appeal Offers Compromise For Marriage Licenses For Same-Sex Couples
For Kim Davis supporters, however, her appeal also focuses on her Christian beliefs, reported CNN.
Jailed following a contempt of court ruling, Kim had refused to follow the Supreme Court ruling in June. That meant Davis would not provide marriage licenses to couples of the same sex.
After the federal judge sent Kim to jail with the contempt of court ruling, Davis’ lawyer, Mat Staver, revealed that she will not step down from her position in discussing the appeal.
Instead, Staver noted that Kim will agree to a compromise that would involve providing marriage licenses that omit her title and name. And while waiting for the details of that agreement to be hammered out, Davis’ husband, Joe, shared that Kim has stated her intent to remain behind bars.
“As long as it takes,” added Joe. “Hopefully (Kentucky Gov. Steve) Beshear will have the guts to do his job.”
However, with Kim absent, some of Davis’ deputies said they would issue the licenses, and Beshear did address that compliance in a statement.
“The future of the Rowan County Clerk continues to be a matter between her and the courts. Deputy clerks have said they will commence issuing marriage licenses beginning (Friday). It appears that the citizens of Rowan County will now have access to all the services from the clerk’s office to which they are entitled.”
What do you think of Judge Vance Day’s refusal to perform same-sex marriages, and Kim Davis’ stance? Post your comments below.
[Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images]