- Associated Press - Friday, September 4, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Marion County judge has asked his clerks to refer couples seeking same-sex marriages to other county judges.

Judge Vance Day, a former chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, is now facing an ethics investigation as a result of that decision.

Spokesman Patrick Korten says Judge Day asked his staff to send same-sex couples elsewhere due to his religious beliefs.

On Thursday, the Oregon Government Ethics Commission gave Judge Day permission to create a legal defense fund for himself in order to cover such expenses he expects to incur during the investigation.

Judge Day joined the bench in 2011 and has not performed any same-sex marriages.

He stopped doing marriages of any kind this past spring. Marion County judges are not required to perform marriages.

Same-sex marriage was legalized in Oregon in May 2014 after a federal judge ruled the state’s voter-passed, state constitutional amendment — that said marriage was the union of one man and one woman — was unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment.

State officials declined to challenge the ruling, which allowed the nuptials to begin.


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