Ethics Complaint Filed Against Judge Over Gay Adoption Position

May 17, 2017

A Western Kentucky judge who is attempting to recuse himself from all same-sex adoption cases is now facing an ethics complaint.

Credit Brian Turner / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Judge Mitchell Nance has been under fire since acknowledging that he believes adoption by a gay couple would never be in the best interest of a child.

While the judge has said he will no longer hear same-sex adoption cases, the ACLU, Lambda Legal, the Fairness Campaign, and a University of Louisville law professor have lodged a formal complaint – arguing Nance is violating the state Code of Judicial Conduct.

"His actions have eroded the public's confidence in his ability to perform his job as part of the judiciary, and that's a clear violation of judicial ethics," Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says. "He must be removed from the bench if he's not going to do it it himself."

The civil rights groups are now awaiting a response from the Judicial Conduct Commission.

Judge Nance declined to comment, but has defended his decision as a matter of conscience. Martin Cothran with the Family Foundation has called the ethics complaint part of a "campaign of liberal intolerance."