In 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriages are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Those entering into these unions are entitled to the same rights and protections as those in a heterosexual marriage. In spite of that ruling, there are apparently still some pockets of the country where judges are resistant to hearing cases involving certain family law matters. While New York residents enjoy a welcoming environment for all, not every state is the same.
Recently, one judge in the middle of the country announced that he would be excusing himself from certain cases that come before his court. He stated that he would not be presiding over cases involving gay adoptions. Reportedly, it is against his belief that such a household is the best setting for raising a child. He holds this personal opinion in spite of the fact that the state does allow such adoptions and that there are many children who are in need of a loving homes.
Several attorneys who were asked about this judge’s decision stated that he should not hear divorce cases in these scenarios either. In fact, the judge purportedly holds views that divorce itself in not appropriate as he supposedly questions the religious views of divorcing couples and requires that they explain why the marriage did not work. There are some who believe that the judge should resign from the bench since he holds personal views that are contrary to the laws of both the state and country.
Kentucky is also the state where a county clerk refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. The judge has not issued any public comments addressing his decision. Since 2015, the right of same sex couples to marry in the United States has been constitutionally recognized at the federal level. New York residents who are contemplating a marriage dissolution or desire any information concerning family law matters may wish to consult an attorney whose practice is focused on this broad-ranging area of the law.
Source: USA Today, “Judge won’t hear gay adoptions because it’s not in a child’s ‘best interest’“, Andrew Wolfson, April 28, 2017