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Kentucky Judge Resigns After Discriminating Against LGBT Adoptive Couples

A new case regarding same-sex couples’ right to adopt came to light this week, once again showing that, despite federal laws against it, certain adoption professionals continue to discriminate against LGBT couples pursuing adoption.

The professional in question in this case is a Kentucky judge, Judge W. Mitchell Nance, who routinely handles adoption cases. The Kentucky Judicial Council Commission recently released a complaint about his practices, through which it became apparent that he was not upholding the right of same-sex couples to adopt children in Kentucky.

Earlier this year, the judge required lawyers to notify him if they had an adoption case involving an LGBT individual or couple adopting a child. Why? So he could recuse himself from that case because of religious beliefs — despite the fact that a same-sex couples’ right to adoption is one of the many state laws all Kentucky judges swear to uphold without bias.

Shortly after the charges were filed against him, the judge submitted his resignation.

The Fairness Campaign, an organization that advocates for LGBT rights, considered his resignation a success but still wishes for the charges to be investigated and the judge to face the full consequences of his actions, which many argued perpetuated stereotypes about the ability of LGBT couples to parent.

“It’s unfortunate that he has not acknowledged the basic discriminatory nature of his actions,” Chris Hartman, the director of the Fairness Campaign, told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

In addition to the Kentucky Judicial Council Commission, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Kentucky and a University of Louisville law professor are parties to the ethics complaint. For updates on the case, read the Lexington Herald-Leader.

For more information about the rights of same-sex couples to adopt in the United States, speak to your local adoption attorney or adoption professional.

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