Entering courtrooms is nothing new for Oregon Judge Vance Day. However, sitting in the chair reserved for criminal defendants rather than sitting on the Judge’s Bench is.
Day is awaiting trial for the charges he aided and abetted a felon in possession of a firearm. However, the outspoken judge feels he’s actually being persecuted due to his refusal to perform gay weddings.
In an interview CBN News, Day said, “I think this whole ordeal started when I made my original decision to quietly recuse myself from same-sex marriage…in Oregon, it’s not a requirement that a circuit court judge marry anybody, but when the law changed I had a decision to make and that decision was to gently, quietly recuse myself and that eventually began a bit of a firestorm.”
For Day, the firestorm has lingered for more than three years. During this stressful time, the judge has accumulated legal bills of almost a million dollars. When the trial begins, the state of Oregon will attempt to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the judge helped a disabled Navy SEAL possess a firearm. At the time the alleged incident took place, the Navy SEAL was working his way through the Veteran’s Court Day presided over.
In his interview, Day revealed the Navy SEAL’s pellet stove, an important source of heat, malfunctioned “in the dead of winter.” The Judge’s son had already been helping the veteran get to various appointments. The Navy SEAL lived in a remote area and didn’t possess a driver’s license because he had been sentenced for a DUI charge. Day and his son decided to go to the veteran’s house on a Sunday in order to take him some food and fix the pellet stove.
While the judge was working on this stove, he alleged his son, unbeknownst to Day, went to his truck to retrieve a handgun he wished to show the Navy SEAL. The judge revealed, “So the Navy SEAL picked it up—and he’s a felon so he shouldn’t have been handling that gun—and I was in the room and that’s how I got charged with aiding and abetting a felon in possession of a firearm.”
The judge maintained he wouldn’t trade the difficulties he’s encountered during the past few years.
“Sometimes…I think you see a different side of God that you can only see in that trial and it expands your understanding of His relentless, and I mean relentless, goodness and His kindness,” he said.
The judge entreated other Americans to not back down when the government tests their closely held beliefs. The Judge stated, “When we have His perspective, a trial is an opportunity to walk with Him and watch Him show up in glory and majesty and I don’t want to miss that.”
Judge Day’s trial was originally scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. However, on April 16, 2018, Marion County Oregon Judge Julie Frantz granted a motion to move the proceedings from Day’s home county. Citing worries concerning fairness due to media coverage of Day’s case and his beliefs about marriage, the accused Judge’s lawyers requested the change. Prosecutors resisted the motion. Neither a new venue nor a new date for the trial have been set.
While no one knows when Day’s trial will begin, another trial involving gay marriage is set to be decided by the United States Supreme Court by June of this year. The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights, involves Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado.
In 2012, Phillips declined to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple due to his religious convictions. The business man has insisted that he serves anyone who comes into his establishment. However, he’s maintained that he doesn’t agree to cater every event requested of him. When the same-sex couple recorded a complaint, a state civil rights commission sanctioned Phillips. In December of 2017, the Supreme Court heard almost an hour and a half of verbal arguments regarding the case. At the time, the Supreme Court Justices seemed to be evenly split along ideological lines regarding the case.
Pray for all Christians who are being unjustly persecuted for their Biblical beliefs about the sanctity of marriage.
~ 1776 Christian