Utah Judge Backtracks After Ordering Lesbian Couple to Give Up Child November 13, 2015

Utah Judge Backtracks After Ordering Lesbian Couple to Give Up Child

Well, that was quick.

Juvenile Court Judge Scott Johansen is trying to turn back time after he told foster parents Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland that their new daughter would be taken away from them and placed with a heterosexual couple because it was in the best interest of the child.

Beckie Peirce (left) and April Hoagland

Documents released Friday… show the judge has crossed out statements in his original order about the problems children suffer when raised by same-sex parents, and set a Dec. 4 hearing to determine what will be best for the girl.

“Essentially we’ve bought some time,” Utah Division of Child and Family Services spokeswoman Ashley Sumner said Friday. “We’ll have to see at the permanency hearing on Dec. 4 what the next steps will be.”

The fight isn’t over yet. While Johansen crossed out the more problematic words in his order, there’s no evidence that his views have changed. This is damage control for himself, nothing more. We’ll see in a few weeks if his heart and brain follow suit.

At least Utah’s GOP governor said something sensible in the face of all this:

Gov. Gary R. Herbert, a Republican, weighed in on the issue Thursday, saying that he was “a little puzzled” by the judge’s action. “He may not like the law,” the governor said, “but he should follow the law.”

The one bright note in all this is that people are paying attention to this case, so Johansen may be less likely to use debunked research to justify his bigotry.

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