Is it Kim Davis all over again?
A Kentucky judge has preemptively recused himself from any adoption cases involving gay parents because, according to his “conscience,” “under no circumstance” would “the best interest of the child be promoted by the adoption by a practicing homosexual.”
Judge W. Mitchell Nance, who starts court each day by requiring everyone to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, said in an order this week that he would recuse himself from all adoptions involving gay people.
Nance cited a judicial ethics rule that says a judge must disqualify himself when he has a personal bias or prejudice.
In an order issued Thursday, he said “as a matter of conscience” he believes that “under no circumstance” would “the best interest of the child be promoted by the adoption by a practicing homosexual.” Kentucky state law allows gay couples to adopt, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that all states must permit same-sex marriage.
The Glasgow Daily Times adds that folks across the state are weighing in:
The Family Foundation of Kentucky released a statement supporting Nance’s decision.
“If we are going to let liberal judges write their personal biases and prejudices into law, as we have done on issues of marriage and sexuality, then, in the interest of fairness, we are going to have to allow judges with different views to at least recuse themselves from such cases,” Family Foundation spokesman Martin Cothran said in the news release.
“When adoption agencies abandon the idea that it is in the best interest of a child to grow up with both a mother and a father, people can’t expect judges who do believe that to be forced to bow the knee.”
Others criticized the order.
Nance’s decision not to hear adoption cases for gay residents is “clear discrimination”, Kentucky Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman said in a phone interview.
“And if Judge Nance can’t perform the basic functions of his job, which are to deliver impartiality, fairness and justice to all families in his court room, then he shouldn’t be a judge,” Hartman said.