Utah judge orders lesbian couple to give up child

Timothy Kincaid

November 11th, 2015

Direct to you from the 1990’s comes a 2015 judge’s idiotic ruling (Salt Lake Tribune)

A Carbon County judge has ordered a lesbian couple from Price to give up a child they have cared for as foster parents, declaring the infant would be better off with heterosexual parents.

April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce, who are legally married, told KUTV the order from 6th District Court Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen was issued Tuesday.

The Utah Division of Child and Family Services now has seven days to remove the child from Hoagland and Peirce’s Price home.

This ruling has roughly zero chance of withstanding appeal. And the Division of Child and Family Services is looking into appealing this judge’s decision.

As for his thinking,

An attorney who represents the child’s biological mother, whose parental rights are being terminated by the state, told KUTV that Johansen said his decision was based on research that found children reared in same-sex households do not fare was well as those raised in heterosexual households.

A copy of the order was not publicly available Wednesday, but a court spokeswoman did confirm its contents.

It will be interesting to find out whether that judge will provide his “sources” for his research. As there are no modern resources in the child advocacy world that support his conclusion, it will prove to be anti-gay religious advocacy on which he’s relying.

Not surprisingly, Judge Scott Johansen got his law degree from Brigham Young University, a private university owned by the Mormon Church.


November 11th, 2015

Saw Rob’s post on Facebook about this and shared it. How in the world is stuff like this still allowed to happen?

Even if it doesn’t survive an appeal, think of all the wasted time this poor infant will spend away from his parents.


November 12th, 2015

“It will be interesting to find out whether that judge will provide his ‘sources’ for his research. As there are no modern resources in the child advocacy world that support his conclusion, it will prove to be anti-gay religious advocacy on which he’s relying.”

Why did the name “Mark Regnerus” suddenly pop into my head???

Priya Lynn

November 12th, 2015

I think you probably got it TwirlyGirly.


November 12th, 2015

The washington post has an interesting profile of the judge. He has a long history of doing odd things. He hit a teenager in his court once and seems willing to send child services in to homes for extremely minor infractions.


November 12th, 2015

I read one source that said that he was pressed for sources in court, and stated only that there were many. I suspect that if he provides sources, it will be a long list of comparisons between straight divorcees, abandoned mothers, and straight married couples, none of which directly address the issue of same-sex couples raising kids.

Richard Rush

November 12th, 2015

Someone really needs to introduce that judge to the awesome Zack Wahls who was raised by two moms . . .



November 12th, 2015

Just now at his regularly scheduled news conference the Governor of Utah, Gary Herbert said he was “puzzled” by this Judge’s decision.

I don’t get why he’s puzzled. He and the Utah Legislature poured hundreds of thousands of tax dollars towards trying to say the same thing as this Judge when they filed a brief with the SCOTUS.

The glare from the scrutiny from the world might be blinding him but he should not be puzzled. I would suggest someone might have whispered in his ear: “outraged” would have been the better word.



November 12th, 2015

Politics has a funny way of blinding people to the past, cowboy. “Outraged” would be more appropriate, but Politics seems to blind people to the-right-thing-to-say as well. He is probably trying to walk a line between moderates and conservatives that results in quite the pretzel bending.


November 12th, 2015

Yeah, Nathaniel, like when this same Governor bends all over the place to welcome the WCofF to Salt Lake City a couple of weeks ago.

Quite the yoga pose would you say? The pretzel pose.

I’m still waiting for the overflowing of “respect” they all demand from everyone.

Timothy Kincaid

November 12th, 2015

From the local Fox affiliate:

“I expect the court and the judge to follow the law. He may not like the law, but he should follow the law. We don’t want to have activism on the bench in any way, shape or form. Laws, sometimes people don’t like, but the judge should not interject his own personal beliefs and feelings and supersede the law,” Herbert said.

So to me the “puzzled” comment sounds more like “what the hell does he think he’s doing?”

Eric Payne

November 12th, 2015

Let’s see…

The child’s natural mother has stated she wanted the child to remain with the foster mothers, and;

Utah’s Division of Child Services want the child to remain with the foster mothers, and;

The foster mothers want the child to remain in their family, so;

Did this judge simply overwrite his will, issuing, essentially, an edict? Was there ever a petition filed to remove this child and, if so, by whom?


November 13th, 2015

How did this judge even get involved in the first place?


November 13th, 2015

I’m not sure how higher courts can’t fine a judge or suspend him from a position for gross negligence.


November 14th, 2015

He’s amended his order and set a date for a hearing in early December. Apparently, he’s not so clueless that the backblow didn’t register.



November 15th, 2015

Regnerus. Dead set, anyone who believes in Regnerus’ results has got to be a little slow, or have not read the “study”. Just awful. I don’t even work in the same area, and I could drive trucks through the methodological holes in that study. Funnily enough, when you point this out in discussions, people go all quiet….

Ben in oakland

November 15th, 2015

Mins, Regnerus himself admitted that he didn’t surly what he claimed to have studied. You don’t need any methodological holes.


November 17th, 2015

The judge has now recused himself from the case. He should still be punished for pulling that bullshit.

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