(San Francisco, CA, May 2, 2017)—In Kentucky, family court judge W. Mitchell Nance has issued an order recusing himself from adoption cases involving “homosexual parties.” The order was sent last week to all attorneys in Kentucky’s Barren and Metcalfe counties, calling it a “matter of conscience” and stating there is no circumstance in which “the best interest of the child be promoted by the adoption by a practicing homosexual.”


National Center for Lesbian Rights Family Law Director Cathy Sakimura issued the following statement in response:


“What Judge Nance has done is deeply disturbing. Every judge is required to apply the law and, in adoption cases, to base decisions on the best interest of the child. Recusal is only appropriate when a judge has a personal stake or interest in a case—not as a tool for permitting a judge to opt out of doing his job based on personal bias or disapproval of an entire group of people. In addition, for a judge to openly admit such bias is shocking and undermines respect for the law and the rule of law. This is not how our legal system is supposed to operate.”