Kentucky Judge ‘won’t hear gay adoption cases’
May 17, 2017 1 comment
A Judge in the southern state of Kentucky has caused controversy by refusing to hear adoption cases involving gay couples.
Judge Mitchell Nance serves in the so-called Bluegrass State’s Family Court. Last week, he issued an order recusing (excusing) himself from any such cases. In his order, he claimed to have a “conscientious objection to the concept of adoption of a child by a practising homosexual” because he believed there were no circumstances under which this would be in the best interests of the child in question.
Unsurprisingly, the Judge has been criticised by pro-LGBT groups in the region. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other like-minded organisations have filed an official complaint against him with the state’s judicial conduct commission in which they call for his dismissal from the bench.
Kentucky ACLU Legal Director William Sharp said Judge Nance’s “discriminatory beliefs” make it impossible for him to act “fairly and impartially”.
However some groups have also come to the Judge’s defence. Conservative campaign organisation The Family Foundation has issued a statement labelling the efforts to remove him a “campaign of liberal intolerance”. Spokesman Martin Cothran said he could not “imagine the Judicial Ethics Commission ruling against Judge Nance for doing what the law requires him to do—recuse himself if he believes his views might bias a case”.
The Judge’s refusal to hear these cases means that gay couples seeking to adopt will instead be heard by fellow Family Court Judge John T. Alexander. Speaking to a local newspaper, he said that his colleague’s actions “should not affect the ability of any same sex couples to adopt” in his district.
In the UK, same sex couples now make up ten per cent of all adoptive parents. This figure has almost doubled since 2012 when such couples accounted for just five per cent of adoptions.
Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.
May 17, 2017
Categories: Fostering & Adoption