A controversial Utah judge has come under fire for removing a baby from its same-sex foster parents based on unnamed scientific studies and (allegedly) his own religious beliefs.
Utah state child welfare officials on Wednesday were reviewing a ruling by a juvenile court judge who ordered a baby to be taken from lesbian foster parents and instead placed with a heterosexual couple for the child's well-being.
Judge Scott Johansen's order Tuesday raised concerns at the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, agency spokeswoman Ashley Sumner said...
The ruling came during a routine hearing for April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce. They are part of a group of same-sex married couples who were allowed to become foster parents in Utah after last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal across the country, Sumner said...
They said Judge Johansen cited research that children do better when they are raised by heterosexual couples. Hoagland believes the judge actually imposed his religious beliefs.
Judge Johansen has a history of bizarre and controversial orders and actions, including slapping the face of 16-year-old boy, ordering that a 13-year-old girl's ponytail be cut off, and sending a child to juvenile detention over a poor report card. Taking a child from the care of same-sex foster parents is not outside the realm of possibility for this man.
Unfortunately for the judge, though the Utah's anti-discrimination law does not cover foster care or adoption, his actions are unconstitutional under the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision. It's unlikely that his order will not stand for long and the child will be back with her foster parents.