Kentucky Judge Who 'Refused To Hear' Adoption Cases For Gay People, Resigns Amid Ethics Probe

Photo: USA Today

Earlier this year we told you about Judge W. Mitchell Nance of Kentucky, who said that he would recuse himself from all adoptions involving gay people or “homosexual parties” because he believes allowing a gay person to adopt could never be in the child's best interest.

Now, according to the Associated Press, Judge Nance has resigned, "in a move he hopes will end a disciplinary case against him, according to a document released Thursday."

From the AP:

Gay-rights activist Chris Hartman said Thursday that Nance's impending resignation serves as a strong reminder for judges to "do their job or get off the bench."

"I hope it sends a message that fairness and justice must be applied equally," said Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group based in Louisville. "And that judges whose conscience conflicts with their duties must resign the bench if they cannot deliver that basic fairness and justice."

Nance has asked the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission to waive any formal hearing and dismiss the charges that he violated judicial canons.

The Washington Post adds:

In a written response this week, Nance and his attorneys waived a hearing before the commission and asked to have the charges dismissed, saying his offer to resign rendered the case moot. But Nance stood by his original recusal plan, arguing that same-sex adoption cases presented him with a “unique crisis of conscience,” as the Glasgow Daily Times reported.