Gay couples are permitted to adopt children in the state of Kentucky, but a local family court judge has outraged gay-rights organizations with his refusal to hear adoption cases involving gay parents “as a matter of conscience.” Conservative groups, on the other hand, approve of his actions.
Citing a judicial ethics rule in which a judge must disqualify himself when he has a personal bias or prejudice, Judge W. Mitchell Nance filed an order recusing himself from any future adoption cases involving “a practicing homosexual as a matter of conscience that under no circumstance would the best interest of the child … be promoted by the adoption …”
One study in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found that “children of same-sex parents are just as healthy emotionally and physically as the children of different-sex parents.”
According to Martin Cothran of The Family Foundation, a conservative-minded Kentucky group, Nance has made the right 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,” he stated.
Cothran added, “When adoption agencies abandon the idea that it is in the best interest of a child to grow up with both a mother and father, people can’t expect judges who do believe that to be forced to bow the knee. Judges have a right of conscience like everyone else.”
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