Here’s the good news: Kentucky Judge W. Mitchell Nance, who presides in family court, will no longer hear adoption cases involving same-sex parents.
Why? He thinks “allowing a gay person to adopt could never be in the child’s best interest.” Even his order recusing himself from such cases used the only-in-Jesusland phrase “homosexual parties.”
Here’s the bad news: He’s still allowed to keep his job despite his very public bigotry.
In what other position — a government position, no less — would this sort of discrimination be acceptable? Could a public school teacher say “I don’t want to teach openly gay children because I believe they’re rebelling against God” and, instead of being fired, be assigned classes with no gay students?
It’s an absurd accommodation they’re making for this judge.
Of course Christian Right groups think it’s perfectly fine, since they’re not the subjects of the bigotry.
… Martin Cothran, an analyst for the Family Foundation of Kentucky, which opposed gay marriage, said in an email that “we fully support the decision of Judge Nance to recuse himself from these kinds of cases.
“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 whose personal biases and prejudices are different to recuse themselves from such cases,” said Cothran, who advocated for a state constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in Kentucky until it was overturned by the Supreme Court.
If an atheist judge said he felt religious parents were inherently inferior because they were brainwashing their children, does anyone seriously think people like Cothran would settle for anything less than a firing?
This bigotry also raises other questions, like whether Nance should be allowed to make decisions in cases involving divorce because one partner came out as gay. While we’re at it, should he really be allowed to handle adoption cases if the parents are openly liberal and supportive of LGBT rights? What about cases involving divorce? Why should we believe he’ll give them a fair hearing?
He doesn’t, according to lawyers:
Attorneys say he also asked divorce litigants where they go to church and whether they are a true believer.
Bigotry begets bigotry. And if Nance’s views stem from his faith (which — surprise! — they do), who knows where he’ll draw the line? It’s better for everyone involved not to wait and see and just remove him from the bench for good.
Anyone who puts religion above the law, as Nance admits to doing, has no business being a judge.
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