LEXINGTON, Ky. (ChurchMilitant.com) - An outspoken Kentucky judge critical of same-sex "marriage" has been disciplined. The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission (KJCC) issued a public rebuke of Fayette Family Court Judge Timothy Philpot on January 9 for allegedly failing to deal fairly and impartially with those in court.
As a Family Court Judge, he required couples with children to take part in special hearings to determine whether their marriage was "irretrievably broken." He reportedly didn't require couples without children to participate. According to the KJCC, this violates a judicial rule which requires judges to carry out the responsibilities of their office in a fair and impartial manner.
On January 9, Philpot said he will now require special proceedings for every couple who wants to divorce, not just those with children. Philpot went on to say that Kentucky law requires courts to determine whether or not a marriage is irretrievably broken, commenting, "I am pleased that the Judicial Conduct Commission has publicly affirmed that hearings to determine whether a marriage is 'irretrievably broken' are permitted under Kentucky law for every divorce, not just those with minor children."
In the past, he has compared divorce proceedings to "a high-speed express train instead of the old local train that made stops along the way." He has further commented, "'Irretrievably broken' is a common legal term in all divorce cases. A marriage must be 'irretrievably broken' to be legally dissolved. Yet, no one knows what that means. Hearings that are supposed to happen by law do not."
Philpot, a former state senator, is no stranger to controversy. On the topic of so-called gay marriage, he has called it an oxymoron like a "magnificent Chihuahua" or "jumbo shrimp." He has referred to homosexual relationships as "sterile" and "just entertainment."
After the Supreme Court legalized so-called gay marriage, he called the decision "pretty close to insane" and also commented that "there is no question that polygamy is on the way." Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, a pro-LGBT group, remarked, "personally, I would never want Mr. Philpot making decisions about my family, given the fact he has deep disrespect for LGBT people and their families."
Philpot defended himself in an email. "[M]y views on the deep spiritual nature of marriage have never stopped me from following the law and being fair to all people, including those who identify themselves as LGBT."
In November of 2016, he advocated lengthening the waiting period for a divorce from 60 to 180 days for couples with children, so that couples can consider whether divorce is truly the best option for them.
Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: The remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery.