Kentucky judge who refused gay adoptions guilty of misconduct

LOUISVILLE — A Kentucky judge who refused to hear adoption cases involving LGBTQ people has been found guilty of misconduct by the Judicial Conduct Commission, according to local media.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported on Tuesday that the commission had issued a public reprimand 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.

Nance had skipped the hearing because he was already going to be leaving the position on Dec. 16.

From the Courier-Journal:

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.

The Barren and Metcalf county judge announced he would recuse himself from such cases because ethics rules require judges to do so when they have a personal bias or prejudice.

The commission had charged Nance with multiple violations of judicial ethics, including bias.