Kentucky judge who refused to handle gay adoptions resigns

Kentucky judge who refused to handle gay adoptions resigns”

A family court judge who refused to preside over adoption cases involving same-sex couples has resigned.

The complaint filed against Nance called for his removal from the bench because his request for recusal from adoptions involving LGB parents violated Kentucky's Code of Judicial Conduct by "eroding public confidence in the judiciary and failing to perform judicial duties impartially and diligently".

Advocacy groups filed a complaint against Nance in May for his refusal to hear adoption proceedings involving, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, according to a release from the Fairness Campaign. "By making it clear that he could not, or would not do that, Judge Nance demonstrated that he simply had no place on the bench".

"Nance filed an official statement in April that under no circumstance would he consider "...the adoption of a child by a homosexual to be in the child's best interest".

The judge, citing religious objections, filed an order in April that signaled his unwillingness to handle adoption cases involving gay and lesbian adults.

Judge Nance has been a Family Court judge for the 43rd Circuit that covers Barren and Metcalfe counties. Judge Nance waived any formal hearing and requested dismissal of these charges.

"Judge Nance could not be fair and impartial and rule in the best interests of children when he declares an explicit bias against LGB parents". "And that judges whose conscience conflicts with their duties must resign the bench if they can not deliver that basic fairness and justice".

He was charged with violating judicial canons that require judges to maintain high standards of conduct and to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the judiciary's impartiality. The commission may still choose to sanction Nance, but no decision has been made, according to records.

And Nance acknowledged he could not just issue a blanket recusal for all such cases, that it must be done on a "case-by-case basis".

Nance's defenders had included supporters of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who spent five days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her religious beliefs.

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