An evangelical judge who has refused to marry same-sex couples was handed down a three-year suspension without pay Thursday by the Oregon Supreme Court, the longest suspension in the court’s history.
Judge Vance Day, who was found to have broken several gun laws, and in 2014 refused to marry same-sex couples, will have 14 days to file a petition for the state Supreme Court to reconsider its decision.
One of the main charges that Day was found guilty of concerned granting a gun to a felon who was on probation while Day served as judge at a special court for veterans.
The court also ruled that Day had acted with prejudice against same-sex couples after he allegedly instructed staff at his office to say that he was unavailable for same-sex marriage requests, while heterosexual couples had their weddings scheduled.
Phil Lemman, a spokesman for the Oregon Judicial Department, said the three-year suspension is the longest in the court’s history, according to The Associated Press.
Day’s lawyers have said that the judge has made mistakes when it comes to firearms but argued that the deeper reason for the trial is his religious beliefs.
“Our belief is he’s being targeted for his Christian beliefs,” said Ralph Spooner, one of Day’s attorneys, on OPB.org.
“In our society, it’s perfectly fine to test these legal principals,” he added, “but I think whether you’re a Christian, a Muslim — whatever your faith is — that doesn’t disqualify you from being a judge.”
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Source: Christian Post