Skip to navigationSkip to content

The Utah judge who wanted to remove a foster child from a same-sex couple has reversed his decision

A Utah judge has reversed his order to remove a foster child from the home of a lesbian couple.

The judge, Scott Johansen, ruled Nov. 10 that the 9-month-old girl should be removed from her same-sex foster parents and be placed with a heterosexual couple instead.

His reversal today (Nov. 13) comes after Rebecca A. Peirce and April M. Hoagland, the foster parents, along with Utah’s Division of Child and Family Services, filed motions for Johansen to reconsider, the New York Times reports. They also said that if Johansen went through with his court order, they were prepared to appeal his decision.

Hoagland told Utah television station KUTV that Johansen had initially indicated that “through his research, he had found out that kids in homosexual homes don’t do as well as they do in heterosexual homes.” Johansen would not show his research when asked, Hoagland added. That report prompted a show of support for the couple from some high-profile places.

According to the Times, Johansen’s revised court order, while no longer calling for the foster child to be removed from the same-sex couple’s home, still says, “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.”

Johansen has not spoken out about his religious beliefs or what role they may have played in his initial decision or its reversal, but the Washington Post notes that he received his law degree from Brigham Young University, which is operated by the Mormon church. The church recently enacted a new policy that prevents children of same-sex marriages from being baptized until the age of 18.

Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.