Kentucky Judge Who Refused Gay Adoption Cases Resigns in Face of Ethics Charges

Oct 26, 2017
Originally published on October 27, 2017 6:17 am

A Kentucky ethics panel has filed charges against a family court judge who refused to handle adoptions by gay parents.

The judge, W. Mitchell Nance, submitted his resignation on Wednesday. Nance has been a family court judge for the 43rd Circuit that covers Barren and Metcalf counties in south central Kentucky.

Nance filed an official statement in April that under no circumstances would he consider “…the adoption of a child by a homosexual to be in the child’s best interest.”

Nance requested that any attorney filing a motion on behalf of a homosexual party notify the court so that he could recuse himself. He didn’t get that recusal option.

Instead, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission filed charges against Nance for failing to respect and comply with the law, failing to hear matters assigned to him, and “manifesting by words or conduct a bias or prejudice…” based several conditions, including sexual orientation.

The Judicial Conduct Commission notified Nance that the consequences could range from a reprimand to removal from office.

Nance didn’t wait for the commission to take action. He submitted his resignation to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin on Wednesday, effective Dec. 16.

Attorneys for Nance said his resignation makes the charges moot and asked for the case to be dismissed.

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