Kentucky judge who refused to handle gay adoptions resigns

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s judicial disciplinary commission says a judge who declared his conscientious objection to handling adoption cases involving gay and lesbian adults is resigning from the bench.

Judge W. Mitchell Nance informed the commission of his resignation, effective Dec. 16, in his attorney’s response to a complaint against the judge. Nance has presided over family court cases in Barren and Metcalfe counties in rural south-central Kentucky.

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The Judicial Conduct Commission hasn’t scheduled a hearing. Nance is waiving any formal hearing and requesting dismissal of charges that he violated judicial canons.

Gay-rights activist Chris Hartman says he hopes Nance’s resignation sends a message that “fairness and justice must be applied equally,” and that judges whose conscience conflicts with their duties must resign.

Nance’s attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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