MARION CO., Ore. (KOIN) — A Marion County judge accused of multiple ethics violations spoke to KOIN 6 News Wednesday night regarding the allegations.
“It’s easy to come to a quick conclusion,” Judge Vance Day said. “We take a 3 dimensional issue or person, we flatten them out, paste them up against the wall and throw darts at them.”
Judge Day made national headlines last month for refusing to perform same-sex weddings. In the spring, he gave up his right to perform wedding ceremonies altogether.
Earlier this week, the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability revealed a series of allegations claiming Judge Day violated numerous ethical codes set out for circuit court judges.
Despite the claims, Judge Day stands by his actions and has maintained his innocence.
“If this country is going to the place where people who have religious convictions need not apply for public service, then I think we’re going in the wrong direction,” he said. “I think it’s important that people of faith have a voice in that process.”
Judge Day admitted to KOIN 6 News that he asked staff members to screen wedding applicants to ensure they weren’t same-sex couples. However, his response to the allegations in court documents show he previously denied doing so.
According to the judge, he screened the individuals to keep from embarrassing them.
The circuit court judge also faced backlash after court documents revealed he allegedly hung World War II memorabilia and portraits on the courthouse walls, some showcasing figures like Adolph Hitler.
“There’s nothing pro-Hitler about that framing piece,” Judge Day said. “Absolutely nothing.”
He also denies allegations that he bullied veterans by making them watch videos or read books that enhanced PTSD symptoms.
“I don’t hardly recognize the person they’re talking about,” he explained. “That’s not me… I may be tough on people, I may work hard and cause people in this building to work hard, but the bottom line is there has been no discrimination, no bullying.”
Judge Day said he’s waiting for a public hearing in November when he will explain his side of the story to the public.
“Don’t prejudge,” he said. “I don’t want to prejudge the commission and I don’t want them to prejudge me.”
A public hearing on the case has been scheduled for November 9 at 9 a.m.