Kentucky judge who refused to hear gay adoption cases found guilty of misconduct

By Darcy Costello

A Kentucky Family Court judge who refused to hear adoption cases involving gays and lesbians has been found guilty of misconduct by the state’s Judicial Conduct Commission.

The commission issued a public reprimand Tuesday against W. Mitchell Nance, who announced his intention to resign earlier this year amid the ethics and misconduct inquiry. That resignation was set to become final Dec. 16.

The order finds that “due to Respondent’s retirement, a public reprimand is warranted, and is the only public sanction available.”

Nance drew national attention in April when he said he would no longer hear adoption cases involving “homosexual parties” because he believes allowing a gay person to adopt could never be in the child’s best interest. 

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