A Judge in Utah Ordered a Child to Be Removed from a Lesbian Couple’s Home Based Solely on Their Sexuality

Citing unspecified research that allegedly proved that children are better off when raised in traditional, heterosexual households, Judge Scott Johansen declared a foster child must be removed from a lesbian couple’s home.

Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland are a married couple, living in Utah.  They have two biological children of their own and have -for the past three months- been raising a foster child with plans to adopt.  But their plans were abruptly derailed on Tuesday when Judge Scott Johansen ruled that the child would be better off raised by heterosexual parents and thus, would be removed from the couple’s home when the foster period ended -in one week.  The couple had already passed the array of background checks and home inspections that are necessary to be an approved foster parent -and there were no events or negligent acts on their record.  The decision was based solely upon the couple’s sexual preference.

Johansen is very much acting as a lone arbiter, he’s going rogue.  Utah’s Child Health and Family Services and the child’s biological Mother both support the couple, and there is no legal precedent to deny the adoption.  The state has gone so far as to petition a stay to the judge’s order.  Johansen is -as he has done before- using the bench to make a boorish cultural statement.  In the past decade, Johansen has been in the news for slapping a 16 year old boy in his courtroom, sentencing a child to time in a Juvenile Detention Center for a bad report card and ordering a 13 year old to have her ponytail cut off.  He is no stranger to controversy, and yet somehow, even after physically assaulting a child while on the bench, he only received a reprimand.  April Hoagland, when speaking to KUTV stated,

He said through his research he had found out that kids in homosexual homes don’t do as well as they do in heterosexual homes and when they asked to show his research he would not

Judge Johansen is clearly intellectually-allergic to discernment.  There have been numerous university research studies that have shown that gay parents are just as good as straight parents, and many have even shown that, overall, same sex couples make better parents than heterosexual couples.  Moreover, a group of Columbia law students examined 77 scholarly research studies on this topic and found that children of gay and lesbian parents are no worse off than other children.  There is, however one study that anti-gay religious conservatives love to prop up as the only study that matters, and, to the surprise of no one, this study states that children raised by same-sex couples are worse off than those raised by heterosexual couples.  But this “study” is not a study at all.  It was completed by The Family Research Center, a notorious anti-gay hate group that conveniently only counted the examples of children from broken same-sex households thereby dramatically increasingly the likelihood of those children experiencing certain issues.  The study was designed as a vehicle to push a defined and hateful agenda – and it was put together to seem like a genuine, peer-reviewed study.  But the first rule when reading these sorts of things is to check the source.  A biased source rarely ever yields true, unbiased data, they are completing the “study” to serve an objective, not to find truth.  And The Family Research Center is soaked and overflowing with bias.

Here’s a quote from a fundraising letter sent out by The Family Research Center -courtesy of splinter.org-

The videos are titled ‘It Gets Better.’ They are aimed at persuading kids that although they’ll face struggles and perhaps bullying for ‘coming out’ as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better. …It’s disgusting. And it’s part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that lifestyle.

Tony Perkins

Judge Johansen will have an opportunity to reverse his ruling, and if he chooses not to, the couple plans to appeal.  With the support of Utah’s Child Health and Family Services and the biological parent, as well as zero documented evidence to support the child’s removal, it would be a massive injustice if this ruling stands.

UPDATE: The New York Times have reported that Judge Johansen has reversed his order and changed the language in the ruling so the couple can keep the child (for now).  However,  he did not remove the following comments,

The court cited a concern that research has shown that children are more emotionally and mentally stable when raised by a mother and father in the same home.

Due to this section being left in, there has been another hearing scheduled for December 4th to determine if Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland will be granted permanent custody of the child.

by Jesse Mechanic

Jesse Mechanic is the Editor-in-chief of The Overgrown.

Twitter-logo-6-12 @jmechanic





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