Judge refusing to marry gays criticised for having a picture of Hitler in his office

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An Oregon Circuit Judge who is facing a number of ethics complaints for refusing to marry gays is now defending having a picture of Hitler in his courthouse.

Vance Day, the former chairman of the Republican Party in Oregon, had ordered his staff to refer any same-sex couples wanting to marry to other judges who were willing to perform the marriages.

Day has married no same-sex couples, and actually stopped performing all marriages in an attempt to avoid further ethics complaints.

According to his spokesman Patrick Korten, the decision not to perform the marriages was based on Day’s “deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“It’s an exercise of his religious freedom rights under the First Amendment,” Korten told KGW news.

However Korten has faced new accusations against Day – that he has a portrait of hitler hung in the courthouse.

Korten spoke to Reuters to say the picture was hung as part of a display about World War II.

He said: “We went to war against Hitler… His picture was there. It was not admiringly. It was him as the epitome of the enemy that we went to fight against.”

Day actually stopped performing marriages last year, before the Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of same-sex marriage, but an earlier decision not to marry just gay and lesbian couples led to the ethics complaints.