UTAH: Judge Orders Baby Removed From Married Lesbian Foster Parents Because They Are Gay [VIDEO]

CBS News reports:

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. Its attorneys plan to review the decision and determine what options they have to possibly challenge the order.

Hoagland and Peirce told CBS affiliate KUTV that they are distraught after the ruling that calls for the baby girl they have been raising for three months to be taken away within a week. 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. “We are shattered,” she told the station. “It hurts me really badly because I haven’t done anything wrong.”

The women, who are legally married, were approved after passing home inspections, background checks and interviews with the DCFS. They hope to adopt the baby and have the support of the child’s biological mother. Judge Johansen is precluded by judicial rules from discussing pending cases, Utah courts spokeswoman Nancy Volmer said. Sumner said she can’t speak to specifics of the case but confirmed that the couple’s account of the ruling is accurate — the judge’s decision was based on the couple being lesbians. The agency isn’t aware of any other issues with their performance as foster parents.

The Human Rights Campaign reacts:

“Removing a child from a loving home simply because the parents are LGBT is outrageous, shocking, and unjust. It also flies in the face of overwhelming evidence that children being raised by same-sex parents are just as healthy and well-adjusted as those with different-sex parents. At a time when so many children in foster care need loving homes, it is sickening to think that a child would be taken from caring parents who planned to adopt.”

  • This is terrifying. LGBT parents across the nation should be really worried about this. Hell, *straight* parents should be worried about this. Yes, they were “only” foster parents, but still. What if the judge found a study that said kids in more affluent homes “turn out” better (whatever that means?) Should we take all poor and middle-class kids and give them to billionaires?

    • Chucktech

      They’d consider doing that, but there aren’t enough billionaires who’d give a damn to raise a foster child.

      • Mikey

        Nannies cost a fortune, you know.

    • While they weren’t necessarily “billionaires,” that’s the actual history of First Nations children in Canada and Native American children in the United States, where our kids were legally removed by the federal government to be placed with White adoptive families. You can read about this sad and outrageous history here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixties_Scoop and here: http://www.nicwa.org/Indian_Child_Welfare_Act/history/

      The difference with Native children being removed from their homes to be placed with non-Native adoptive families meant they were cut off from their cultural heritage. I have a history of being a Family Therapist and I’ve worked a lot with trans-racial adoptions. When an adoptive (or one who is born into a family) is visually or significantly different, whether they have a different skin color, different shaped eyes, or are in a wheelchair, there’s an uncomfortable reality that is due to what’s called “modeling..” No matter how much love an adoptive or foster family may be able to offer a child who is significantly different, a White family cannot model for Native Children how to be a healthy and happy Native person, no matter how well they can model being happy, healthy White people. A LGBT child born into a straight family can’t have that family model what it means to be a happy, healthy LGBT adult. A deaf child born into a hearing family won’t have a model of how to be a happy, healthy Deaf adult.

      This is why the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,” is so important where members of a larger community can provide that sort of modeling and support–if the adoptive parents are secure enough to interact with the larger community. Unfortunately in my professional experience, I’ve often encountered adoptive parents who told their Native children, “You should be thankful I adopted you because your birth parents were a bunch of drunks” (whether this was true or not). I was also present when the director of a school district’s Native American Cultural Heritage program did outreach to such an adoptive family. The adoptive parent yelled at him, “My child doesn’t need a remedial program!” and then hung up on him, having assumed anything “Native” was for students with learning difficulties. A number of adoptive parents in this situation often expressed fear that if their children were introduced to others similar to them–they’d “abandon” the adoptive parents.

      In my experience as a Family Therapist (and the research supports this)–developmentatly, Native children raised in a non-Native adoptive home self-identify with the adoptive parents. They conceptualize themselves as White. Which is not a problem as long as they are young enough to be in a “protective bubble” of the family. But when they become more independent and start going through normal separational explorations around the time of puberty, they often experience for the first time what it’s like to be perceived as a “person of color” in a world where people of color frequently experience discrimination. This is particularly true when such a young person starts dating.

      You have to understand–if you’re a “family of color” (Native/African-American/Asian-American, etc.) then you consistantly have modeling from your familly of what to do when discrimination occurs– what are effective (and non-effective) coping skills. But if you grow up in a White family–you obviously won’t know any of those coping skills. White people are able to directly confront racist Whites in ways that are usually non-effective for people of color who have to deal with racists, particularly in a school setting or workplace. When you combine normal developmental stages humans experience, such kids are at an extremely vulnerable point (much like LGBT peers) where they can internalize self-hatred. Just so, we believe this leads to the higher rates of suicide as well as self-medication of anxiety and depression leading to alcohol and substance abuse. As I’ve mentioned before, always remember LGBT is a category that spans all ages and ethnic groups, so if you’re a LGBT kid who is also trans-racially adopted, you get a “double-whammy” in many cases.

      Btw, I used ot do a “rotating” column for a newspaper called “Minority Voices” (I did the Native American ones lol). I wrote about this. At no point did I ever write that “therefore,” White people should not be allowed to adopt Native children (or other children who were “different”)–but I was emphasizing that no matter how much love such an adoptive family can provide, there are other elements that they were not able to give–which is why they need to be aware of needing to put extra effort in seeking assistance from that larger community. This might include becoming involved as a family with relevant cultural events.

      When that particular column came out (I was told by the newspaper it had received the largest reader response of any of their Minority Voices columns) I got a very angry letter from a social worker I had known for a few years–we had worked together to provide health and dental resources for the children of migrant workers–who were First Nations people from Canada who came down to Washington State to pick strawberries. At the time, because there were no child care facillities, they’d place their babies on blankets while they’d work. Because they were Canadians, they were not able to access resources back in their own community while away, and because they were Canadians, they weren’t eligible at that time to access local resources. She had adopted two children of Native heritage. She accused me of being a terrible person and “how dare” I tell her she shouldn’t be able to adopt her two sons. Again–that was never part of my writing, or has it been since.

      Years later when I was on faculty at one of the state universities, a freshman student came up to me and introduced himself. It was one of those “you don’t remember me, but I remember you” moments. Yep-he was one of her sons. He and his brother had been under the age of 10 the last time I had seen them. He shared when they were around 13 they began acting out. They had also “run away from home,” and exhibited the “classic” responses so many trans-racially adoptive childen have.

      • Phillip in L.A.

        Thanks for the post–very interesting reading

        But did it occur to you that one implication (not necessarily a valid one) of what you wrote is this: some bigoted LDS judge in Utah might rule that foster kids placed in an LGBT family might not have “being str8” modeled for them “properly”–might even take them away, which would be tragic for all

        • A fair question–but the whole point was about being provided an appropriate role model from one’s regular environment. Let me assure you, if you are an LGBT child (or a child of color–or deaf, or in a wheelchair) you will have constant, indeed relentless exposure to heterosexuals on TV, video games, books, comics, movies, your social activities including school and churches–and in your extended family.

          This is at the point where when dealing with racial issues, someone raises a hand and asks, “So why don’t we have White Pride Parades?” or “Straight Pride Parades?” Oh, maybe it’s because we get a gay pride parade (or Columbus Day (eye roll) only once a year, but you get the other 364 days that celebrate and elevate what you are and often take for granted.

          • Phillip in L.A.

            thx for the thoughful reply

  • Todd20036

    Which just shows the SCOTUS decision for marriage isn’t the finish line, merely a check point.

    • Mark

      In a not-so-pretty way, this may well be the best ammunition for ENDA

      • ENDA still won’t help with this, but it may spark some awareness, you’re right.

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    • David Walker

      I think it’s more than a check point. I think national marriage equality is something that a lot of people have to get used to, including piece of shit judges like this. It may take a long time and I may not see it happen, but I do think we will achieve full equality, and I think national marriage equality is a (not THE, but A) standard that will be used.

      • Bj Lincoln

        It’s the foot in the door for all other protections and rights.
        “If we can get married, how are we going to support ourselves and families without …….”

    • clay

      The SCOTUS decision for marriage specifically addressed family recognition and adoption of children; the Utah judge doesn’t have a leg to stand on, particularly trying to apply ANY general research (IF it even exists) to a specific child’s situation.

      • Phillip in L.A.

        The leg he has to stand on is called the Utah Supreme Court

    • hiker_sf

      In the quest for civil rights for any group, there never is a finish line. While life usually improves, the struggle never ends. See the history of the black civil right’s efforts, efforts for women’s equality or immigrant farm workers.

      Struggles continue.

  • RaygunsGoZap

    This is going to turn out badly. For the judge.

    They may lose custody of the child briefly, but the judge’s career is going to take a massive hit or come to an ignoble end.

    • Todd20036

      Maybe, but this is Utah. Anti-gay bigotry is not considered a bad trait in that Mormon commune.

    • mjcc1987

      How? It’s legal to marry but it’s also legal to discriminate against gays for in fact being gay.

      • RaygunsGoZap

        There will be a lawsuit. And that lawsuit will be appealed. Heck, it could make it to SCOTUS for all we know.

        There’s also judicial ethics boards. He can be attacked on several legal fronts for this behavior.

        • Blackfork

          Let’s hope it does go to SCOTUS. The couple would win for sure.

          • Cousin Bleh

            That baby will be driving by the time it gets to SCOTUS.

          • Mark

            With any luck – that baby will be driving a shiny new Lexus TO the SCOTUS.

          • fuow

            Before this court? I’d not count on it.

          • Phillip in L.A.

            dewd/dewdette: you must be joking!

        • cleos_mom

          If the couple doesn’t sue, they should at least move to another state. And if they’re LDS and continue in that church, there’s really nothing anyone can do for them.

          I do hope they sue. And eventually a lot of churches are going to have to explain to their younger members — assuming they have any — why Certain People are either blatantly not welcome in their church or avoid it like the plague.

          • If foster parents move out of state, the relevant state agency will re-home the kids. That was never an option here.

          • fuow

            Oh, I don’t know – that christer c*nt who stole her ‘ex’ gilfriends child was aided and abetted by all sorts of government ‘servants’.
            Wait – you mean these two lESBIANS? Oh, hell, no. They’d be shot before they got to Colorado border.

          • David Walker

            Tim Seelig, Artistic Director and Conductor of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and formerly AD of the Turtle Creek Chorale, freely admits to being “a recovering Southern Baptist.” He’s told the story several times of his banishment from his church that formerly loved him, the denomination, his wife, and their children when he finally decided to be honest about his sexual orientation. Several years later he received a letter from a young woman who had been friends with his daughter when the stupid shit happened. In her letter she wrote that she could not imagine what a person could do that was so horrible that the person was deleted, that what he said or did or even his name no longer existed. Although not family, she was on our side.

            A lot of churches will have a lot of explaining to do to their young people. They are responsible for so many fucked up lives. To me, THAT’s a sin.

        • I agree–but unfortunately, if the baby is placed with a “straight” family while the long-drawn out legal appeals process goes through–there’s a legal history of a later judge agreeing that the initial adoptive parents (in this case the lesbian couple) had been wrongly separated from their child–but then declaring the infant had now been with the adoptive parents in the second placement for such an extensive period, the child will have “bonded” with the second set of parents to the extent it would be in “the best interest of the child” to remain where she is. That’s been the painful experience of so many Native parents whose children were placed in non-Native homes.

          • RaygunsGoZap

            Ah. I recall this now. I’ve followed other cases where that was the ultimate outcome

      • HadenoughBS

        Yep, it’s absolutely legal to marry in all 50 states – including Utah. But it’s also legal to be fired for being gay-married or, hell, just being gay in many states as well! The imposition of homophobic religious tests by judges is the rule of law in too many American jurisdictions.

    • Stev84

      I doubt it. Not the first time he did something stupid:
      Scroll down to the last two paragraphs

      • RaygunsGoZap

        Thanks! I actually recall the ponytail incident. Maybe you’re right and nothing will happen. On the other hand, with the unity on the one side I’m hopeful the baby will wind up with these ladies and this bigot will have finally gone a step too far.

    • PaulDouglas1

      Doubt it. It’s the land of Brigham Young with a long history of über-patriarchy. Shouldn’t hurt him a bit.

      • RaygunsGoZap

        Maybe. Governors already come out against him. Guess we’ll see.

  • Jan Wesselius

    “Studies have shown”. The comic strip Non Sequitor just did a bit about studies. The fact the judge would not produce the “study” indicates it is more than likely a junk study done by a religious group like NOM.

    • Keiffer

      For your reference: http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2015/11/06

      Edit: Actually the start up of the theme begins on this day:
      and runs for 5 ending with the link above.

      • Jan Wesselius

        Love Diane. She will make a great President. It is her destiny.

    • WildwoodGuy

      Key word: WOULD not produce… not that he couldn’t. He flatly refused.

    • Octoberfurst

      “Studies have shown.” Yeah they probably polled the readers of Breitbart and WND and found they were unanimous in their disapproval.

  • CPT_Doom

    This made CNN this AM, and the response of the anchors was shock. They immediately were like “we need to get this judge on the program and ask him how he could do this.” With any luck this will get broad media attention and really focus the issue of anti-discrimination laws on the true facts of the matter, not the bathroom crap we saw in Houston.

    What is really appalling is that there is no precedent for deciding that individuals who have shown themselves to be qualified should be rejected based on statistics about their group, even if those statistics are valid. Single parents should not be rejected by judges for adoptions simply because they tend to have more challenges than married parents.

    • Gerry Fisher

      That level of attention is good news.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      I agree with everything you said.

      LDS Utah family court judge’s “authority”: I said so!

  • lymis


    The research shows either that gay parents are just as good (if not slightly better) at being parents, or at worst, that the best of gay parents are not as good as the very best of straight parents who have raised a wanted infant from birth in an intact marital relationship.

    There has never been a single study, anywhere, that even hints that the best gay parents are worse than the worst of straight parents. That bar is entirely too low.

    The most anti-gay, scientifically questionable, commonly disputed studies STILL all show that gay people fit neatly into the middle of the pack compared to all straight parents.

    This judge should go down and go down hard for this.

    • Wynter Marie Starr

      There have been studies that show children in very religious homes are more selfish and have difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy among other things. I’m quite sure there are also studies showing that being raised in a cult is extremely detrimental to a child’s wellbeing. Even the crazy evangelicals think the mormons are a cult. (The irony of which is hysterical.)

      Perhaps we should start removing foster kids from mormon homes.

    • Strepsi

      That’s right, the only actual scientific studies show that we are indeed equal (and the Canadian one implied that children of 2 lesbian parents performed best).

      • fuow

        No suprises there. Mother Nature keeps us gays around because we increase the survival to breeding age rate for children.
        This judge is terrorizing these women for purely religious reasons.

  • sw42

    Those poor women. I hope this gets resolved soon. How awful this must be.

  • Cousin Bleh

    Kate Kendell read this story and shrugged. But when she found out the baby is not going to be baptised, she re-quit the Mormon church.

  • Sean

    The HRC needs quite the angry words & do something pro-active. They need to hide and protect this family the same way the religious-reich is doing to that mentally unstable skank who kidnapped her daughter after she lost custody to her ex-partner.

    • Strepsi

      Exactly! I am getting a little sick of “HRC reacts”… how about “HRC ACTS”?

      We need the gay legal equivalent of the atheist groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, that write governments at all levels about the threat of a lawsuit if they keep up their actuions… and then follow through with an actual lawsuit!

      Bigots only react if you hit them in the wallet.

      • fuow

        But they have reacted, the next highly-indignant blurb of ten words on a two page letter asking for money is already being printed.
        Oh, and think about it. It’s 2015 and they still send us letters.

        • And then they send out giant 8.5×11″ double-sided pretty postcards saying “go vote” without even endorsing any candidates.

      • Phillip in L.A.

        We have that–it’s called Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, and they have offices all over the US. The Legal Director is John Davidson, at the Manhattan office.

        Apparently, they need to get more on the ball about the “Education” bit…. ;}

    • Bj Lincoln

      I love her.

  • Wynter Marie Starr

    So, the judge is using bogus research based upon his religious beliefs. Every decision this judge has made now needs to be examined for bias and he should be removed while that is happening. What he did was illegal and he damn well knows it.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Why dont u get right on all that research and stuff!

      • Wynter Marie Starr

        What research would that be, Phillip? The one study that has been discredited? Or the dozens of studies that show children raised in LGBT homes do as well as children raised by strait people?

        Perhaps I’ll do some follow up research on how poorly children do raised in cults. We already know that children raised in very religious homes are more selfish and have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality.

        Or, perhaps you were referring to the decisions this judge has made in the past. It helps to be clear.

        • Phillip in L.A.

          I knew there was a reason I didn’t come to this site any more

  • Cackalaquiano

    There are still so many Americans who don’t realize that protections against this sort of thing are nonexistent in most of the country. This case is terrible- thank goodness major news networks are picking it up.

    • Cackalaquiano

      Correction: nothing at Fox News. I’m sure you all are shocked…

      • Cackalaquiano

        Still nothing at Fox, but they’re probably just verifying the story so they can be “fair and balanced,” right?

        There are some sensational headlines on “ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT CRIME!” and “THE BLADE OF JIHAD!” though…

    • Phillip in L.A.

      I agree with you, especially if:

      You add the words “LGBT” after “many” and before “Americans” in the first line….

  • Sam_Handwich

    is there an appellate process?

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      I should think so. The news clip I saw this morning said the couple is looking for a lawyer. As in JUST now.

  • Ain’t Gonna Stand For It

    Juvie judge should be arrested, tried for abuse of power, treason, and human rights violations of both the women and the child, and if convicted punished accordingly. No place for public officials like this in civil society. We will not stand for this, nor allow this injustice to stand.

  • TexasBoy

    Judge is likely a Mormon enforcing the latest edict of the cult.

  • Greg B.

    Stunning stupidity and bigotry on the part of the judge. Which “research” did he cite, Regnerus?

    • Chucktech

      As far as I know, that’s the only one.

      • lymis

        There are others, but none of them say what these people seem to think that they say, including Regnerus, as flawed as it was.

        As far as I know, there has never been a study that says all gay parents are worse for kids than the worst of straight parents, which is what would be required to claim that no gay couple should be allowed to raise kids.

  • JT

    Judge Johansen cited research that children do better when they are raised by heterosexual couples

    Citing bullshit “research”? Citing anything other than what is the real basis for this is bullshit. The real basis is the Mormonic high command’s recent ruling that children of gay parents will not be allowed in their cult. The judge is saying that not being allowed to have your children be part of a cult is detrimental to their welfare. The the worst bullshit of all.

    • cleos_mom

      More than not allowed; these antics have made it clear that the intent is to break up families.

      Said it before and will say it again: any group that’s described as a “traditional culture” that’s “strong on family” is one whose habitat it’s wise to avoid. Sort of like the passengers staying on the cruise ship as it glides by the stomping grounds of cannibals.

  • Joseph Miceli

    This judge’s blatant disregard for the law is scandalous. Disciplinary action of some sort needs to be taken. This man can NOT be allowed to get away with this Christian Sharia crap!

  • Jimmie Z

    Judge citing discredited “researcher” Mark Regnerus?
    What an abomination!

  • oikos

    More Regenerus bullshit.

    • Sam_Handwich


      • skeptical_inquirer

        Someone needs to stick a banana in there.

        • Ron Robertson

          As long as that banana is shaped exactly like an oversized dildo.

          • Prixator

            And tastes like one, too. A cheap one.

          • Maggie 4NoH8

            With a side of Santorum please!

      • JCF

        Shove a cock in that piehole, and Regnerus lives his fantasy, while WE get him STFU. Win, WIN!

    • Gerry Fisher

      I was expecting “Regnerus” as a response. Instead, the judge offered, “I heard it somewhere.” (?!)

      • oikos

        Yeah from his NOM membership.

  • Blake Jordan

    There is no valid study that shows children are better with breeder parents!!!

  • Snownova

    Barbaric. In civilized countries (such as mine, the Netherlands) foster care is actively targeting gay and lesbian couples in their recruitment drives.

    • TuuxKabin

      my favorite dutch word: gezellig.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      The US certainly is barbaric, and it seems to be getting more that way, not less

      It must be nice to live in a real civilised country like the Netherlands!!

  • Stev84

    And the Mormon assault on gays continues

  • Michael Senesac

    Breaking News: NOM claims victory in next blog post.

  • Mark

    OK HRC. While we thank you for your positional statement – now set your teeth in the judge’s ass. Dig in, discover the options, then LEAD in the pursuit of the remedy.

    There is a whole bunch of us waiting for you (HRC) to actually DO something other than issue statements before you regain our support. Shit or get off the pot.

    • McSwagg

      They are busy organizing a posh little A-list cocktail party where they will discuss whether to plan a swank black tie dinner where they will talk about whether this is one of their core interests. They will get back to you ‘soon’.

  • TallBearNC

    Maybe that asshole judge will have a brain aneurysm and just drop dead

    • Mark

      Maybe we should pray? Don’t they?

      • David Walker

        Probably. I know they can do postmortem baptisms. I’m sure Anne Frank is now all delighted that she’s been relieved of her Jewish heritage and is now a proud mormon. (Spell Check just asked me if I meant to type “moron.” Maybe I did, but not as a slight directed toward Ms. Frank.)

  • Stubenville

    It’s getting some national coverage; the story is on the LA Times web page.


  • Silver Badger

    Where is the picture of the Judge? The face of bigotry should not be anonymous.

  • Menergy

    I don’t know how these proceedings work, so I’m wondering how this “case” came before the judge to begin with . Why a court ruling in adoption cases, if the agency has correctly processed the adoption ? Who challenged the adoption? The natural mother supported the adoption by the two married women, according to the report. Do all cases for adoption pass before a juvenile court judge/magistrate?

    Anyway, I agree with all of you about the wrong in this ruling and the false “facts” or “studies” this Mormon judge cItes ( purportedly).

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      I wondered the same, Was there a family hearing as normal course of the foster process and judge just said what’s these 2 dykes doing with a BABY that was clearly made my heteros ??

      • Menergy

        seems so.

    • fuow

      In the benighted state in which we were permitted to adopt our son, it went before a judge because our son was asking that his parents’ rights be terminated.
      It says something about those people that even in the 1990s, the judge ruled in his favor. And ours.

      • Menergy

        Thanks to the responses here. I see I misread that this was an adoption; it’s a foster home placement. And it seems there is a layer of judicial review for placement cases. Too bad in this case!

        • fuow

          It’s all very, very complex.
          Our son came to us the first time to pick apples. He was 13.
          Our foreman wanted him in a sturdier shirt. When he saw the welters on his back, he notified my husband and cps and the sheriff and called me in Ireland.
          Despite this being the pits of Georgia (that’s a home joke), the county had no problem with him staying with us. We were able to adopt him just before his 18th birthday.
          Of course we paid his biological ‘parent’s’ money to keep him away from them, but the fact that even in Dixie we could work this out shows how awful Utah is.

    • It requires a court order to place a child in foster care, and in most states, the court will periodically review the child’s status.

      • Baltimatt

        Thank you.

      • Menergy

        OK, thank you. I now see this is a foster care/parents issue, not an adoption.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    That is so disgusting and so disturbing. Marriage equality was just a step along the way to full equality. There is still so much more work to be done.

  • Chris Baker

    Except Utah allows single people to be foster parents. (But not unmarried couples). So if heterosexual couples make the best parents, why are single people allowed?

    • My guess is that the judge will say “they’ll see an opposite sex relationship with dates” or “single parents are also not good foster parents”.

      • NancyP

        Yes, they will also be at significant risk for molestation from Ma’s boyfriend.

        What I can’t get over is the judge thinking that it is fine to remove a 3 month old from a stable situation rather than go through administrative channels. Oh wait, the child and family already went through those channels. At any rate, this sort of thing is highly stressful to that age infant.

    • Xuuths

      Blatant illegal discrimination, that’s why.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Oh, really, you’re just being too rational about all this!

      Do you think there was anything rational about LDS Bishop-Judge’s ruling?

  • fuow

    I’ve been massively criticized for saying there are battles to fight now and battles to not fight now.
    This is a battle we MUST fight for these women and their child, fight and WIN.
    It’s clear this decision was tied to the ‘apostasy’ bullshit the momos released this week.

  • This is apparently not the first time this judge has done some irresponsible and downright cruel stuff in his courtroom: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/11/12/utah-judge-removes-foster-child-from-lesbian-couple-saying-shell-be-better-off-with-heterosexuals/

    • WildwoodGuy

      Thanks! I was looking for where I’d read this earlier today. He really is quite irresponsible at times, as well as physically violent to children.

  • Silver Badger

    Back years ago, a black gentleman was giving a required diversity training seminar for the State of Colorado. When I questioned the lack gay inclusion, I was told that gays were not really discriminated against and besides, black people had their children taken away. I was reprimanded for disputing his claims.

    • WildwoodGuy

      OMG! Were we in the same diversity class? I remember someone doing just that in one of the annual training classes and later learned he’d been reprimanded. I never did hear if it was just a verbal warning or if it was a permanent record thing… but it helped me grow a pair for the next year!

      • Silver Badger

        If it was me, I just received a verbal reprimand for being confrontational.

  • GayOldLady

    This will not stand! Another battle on the road to full equality.

  • Ted

    This is one of the things that had been expected to happen following the LDS church’s new policy on same-sex couples and children.

  • DN

    Congratulations, Brian Brown! Congratulations, Mark Regnerus! This is exactly what you wanted with that 2012 study, right?

    I’d pay $100 to watch Brian Brown and / or Mark Regnerus meet with these women face-to-face and tell them they are unfit parents. Won’t happen though – they’re chickenshits.

    • TrollopeReader

      But Bri-Bri is “brave” enough to beg money over this — either showing that “he / NOM ” is powerful and winning ….or (more likely) claiming in defeat he/NOM is more needed than ever because lesbians are being allowed to “rip” a baby from her rightful “parents”.

  • DN

    This judge is falling victim to the “Everyone is Stupid Except Me” fallacy. Antonin Scalia does this, too. Some cases, Scalia says, are no-brainers. Yeah, because all the lawyers, judges, and expert witnesses at each of the lower-level courts was a complete simpleton and unable to see the no-brainer.

    So yeah, this judge somehow knows more than the entire agency who spent all this time and work vetting these adoptive parents. If he’s *that* smart, his talents are being wasted! Somebody get this guy in touch with Kreskin’s agent!

    • McSwagg

      “No-brainer” = “Unexamined bigotry”

  • 2patricius2

    I would think that the findings of federal courts might somehow be brought to bear in this case. Is there a higher judge who can rule?

    • David Walker

      Dead tree roots are higher than this guy. “The honorable judge…” indeed. Yes. This can be appealed. The real pisser, though, is that the women and the child will separated until/unless some accommodation can be made.

      • 2patricius2

        Which really goes to prove that characters such as this judge don’t give a shit about what’s best for children. The children are just road kill for their “beliefs.”

      • Phillip in L.A.

        Yes, appealed to the Supreme Court of Utah. Bet there are no Mormons on there. Oh, wait….

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    When you are literally ripping children out of the arms of their loving family, you are a MONSTER. This shows the true anti-family agenda of these despicable bigots.

  • MDB

    This is the same p.o.s. judge, Scott N. Johansen, in Utah’s 7th District, who ordered Valerie Bruno’s daughter, Kaytlen Lopan, to serve 30 days in detention and perform 276 hours of community service for cutting off a 3-year-old’s hair.Police reports indicated that, Lopan and her 11-year-old friend “endeared themselves” to the 3-year-old girl at McDonald’s in Price,Utah then used scissors to “cut several inches of hair from the little girl’s head.” July 2012

  • Went over to the “Salt Lake Tribune” to see what they had to report and their commentators had to say and, as expected, everything I saw was in favor of the couple and against the judge. Noteworthy is that there is a long-term member of the Utah Bar commenting explaining what is possible legally and what is not.

    Then went to “Deseret News” and saw the religious bigotry being defended by religious bigots. But, what else might one expect when the following kind of thing was a recent headline at Deseret News:

  • bkmn

    This judge is going to get schooled, and quickly. Maybe he needs to retire.

  • Ninja0980

    Just another reminder of the fact our fight isn’t over…not by a long shot.

  • Ninja0980

    If you need another reason to remind yourself why it’s important we get out and vote next year, this is it.
    This judge is acting on his prejudice and nothing more and Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Donald Trump etc will make sure to appoint more judges who think just like him.

    • Vista-Cruiser

      Exactly. I don’t know how this guy became a judge, but either he was elected, or he was appointed by someone who was elected.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      A quick civics lesson: The President of the United States has no power to appoint Utah state judges.

      Sorry! Couldn’t resist.

  • Octavio

    Just another reminder that Utah is still Utah and avoid “The Land of Zion” completely. There are other places to ski. There are other canyons of red rock in Nevada and Colorado. There are other states with beautiful forests and deserts. There are other states where you don’t have to deal with the ass wipe mormon subhuman mentality.

    • MDB

      My fellow flying monkeys- Come and ski in New Mexico: Taos, Santa Fe, Ruidoso (Albuquerque if we get enough snow) and many other smaller ski areas in our State- the 5th largest state in the Union. Drink our New Mexico wines and craft-beer, stay in one of many of the casino resorts (not as great as the luxury resorts in Vegas, granted) but you can also eat yourself silly with red and green chile and the only asswipe subhuman Mormons you will encounter will be those you seek out.

  • TexasBoy

    Isn’t using the power of the bench to enforce your personal religious viewpoint considered by the Right Wing as an Activist Judge?

    • David Walker

      Not if the judge is a right wing asshole, no.

  • The judge should be removed from the bench. Using his religious convictions to decide a case is a crime and illegal. I hope this couple appeals immediately.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Wait, really? A crime? Can you cite some authority for that?

  • William

    Has the judge been reading Regnerus?

    • danolgb

      That’s my guess. What not a lot of people realize was the Mormon-owned newspaper was the first to publish the “findings.” Robert P George (NOM, Witherspoon) sits on the paper’s Editorial Advisory Board. To this day, the paper has not published a single article on how it was discredited and many of their commentaries still bring it up.

    • coram nobis

      If he did, he should have read the Federal circuit and SCOTUS material discrediting Regnerus. The Federal courts were very cruel to the study.

      “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 ‘study’ was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it ‘essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society’ and which ‘was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.’ … While Regnerus maintained that the funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds this testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged.”


      That’s case law, not some op-ed, and something a court needs to regard.

      • Phillip in L.A.

        Coram vobis

        LDS-Bishop Utah family court judge don’t give a shit about what federal courts say about Federal Rules of Evidence

        • coram nobis

          Federal ruling had nothing to do with the Fed. R. of Evid. and everything to do with the state of Utah’s compliance with the Obergefell ruling. And if this judge doesn’t comply, some higher state appellate court will feel compelled to.

          • Phillip in L.A.

            Of course.

            But if a federal judge is discussing how much credibility an “expert” witness has . . . then . . . [wait for it]. . . he’s discussing Fed.R.Ev. 702-703

            And this judge was doing just that.

  • SFBruce

    Utah actually has a law banning LGBT discrimination in employment and housing but not public accommodations, with exceptions for the Boy Scouts and religious organizations. Maybe this will help this family, but it’s certainly not the strongest protection we should have in Utah. I can’t find Johansen’s order yet, but both reports I’ve read say the only reason for the removal is the parents are lesbian. Outrageous.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Thanks for this informative post!

  • kirtanloorii

    See? This is why equal protection laws must be passed nationwide. This isn’t about “special rights” for LGBT people. Clearly, they just lost their child because of who they are.

  • EdmondWherever

    What initiated this judge’s decision? Was there a lawsuit? Or does he regularly just go looking through foster files to see if there are any kids who need re-homing?

  • marti386

    Seriously, this shit needs to stop. NOW.

  • Ninja0980

    This case also shows another reason why the bigots claims that contracts, wills etc. would protect us just as much as marriage is a bunch of garbage.
    A judge guided by bigotry such as this one won’t give a shit about any of that stuff as countless same sex couples and LGBT folks have found out over the years in the court system.

  • teedofftaxpayer

    Well we all knew that HATE was alive and well in Utah. What do expect from the State of MORONS?

  • ColdCountry

    Who filed a complaint in the first place? The agency cleared them, they have the mother’s blessing, who the f*ck is the busybody that interfered?

    • coram nobis

      That’s an important question to ask. Who had standing to initiate this before the judge, anyway? Not the state Dept of Child and Family Services nor the child’s guardian ad litem (legal advocate), both of whom argued for the placement with this couple, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, and DCFS is planning to appeal.


      There’s a lot of missing info in this unpublished decision, starting with who started this rhubarb and ending up with the judge had a single citation on these alleged studies. This couple needs to get a stay, pending either an administrative or judicial appeal.

      • ColdCountry

        There has to be more to the story. I hope it’s not bad.

        • Gianni

          I agree. The state agency that handles this cleared them to foster the child. Yet, somehow it became a court case. Someone interfered somehow.

  • coram nobis

    Think Progress reports that discredited studies by Regnerus and two others may have been a factor in the judge’s decision. The ruling is yet unpublished, so it’ll be interesting to see if the judge actually cited anybody or just said “myriad studies say”. It it’s the latter, it’s poor legal writing — and lazy. Ipse dixit.


    Either way, the couple should ask for a stay pending an appeal. Let’s see the ruling and get some case law on this so no one else in that state goes through this, and, inter alia, line up the studies, pro and con, for future reference or dismissal.

  • Baby Dave

    The time has come to revoke Utah’s statehood. They clearly do not have the responsibility ti takes to fully participate in this democracy, and therefore it’s back to Territorial status until they figure it out.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Ya know, I’ve been thinking about that, too.

      Besides the loss of federal funding, Utah might like being a Territory again, better!

  • CoffeeH

    More studies need to be done. Dozens of older children of gay parents report:

    1. Gay ideology is tool of repression

    2. Children become props to show that gay families are “good”

    3. Children are not put first but as gay property for “dog and pony show”

    4. Required to pay constant homage to gay parents sexual identity

    5. Taught that Christians are stupid and hate gays

    6. Hetero children confused about own sexual identity (most are not gay)

    7. In lesbian households, children desire men’s love in inappropriate ways.

    8. The “happy gay family” is a facade for show

    9. Reported fear of homosexual lobby (Big Gay) for speaking out.

    10. Report no space or latitude to express negative feelings, pain, confusion about identity

    11. Intimidated into silence.

    12. Label everyone bigots to silence them.

    • coram nobis

      “Report.” Got a citation?

    • McSwagg

      Hey kids, it’s afternoon Story Time. Today’s selection is Grimm and Debunked Fairy Tales. Don’t be afraid. It’s just a made up story.

      • CoffeeH

        If it were made up, you wouldn’t feel like you had to respond to it.

        • McSwagg

          Why do you go all over the internet spewing lies without proof? If you had proof of your claims, you would cite reputable references. I see that you haven’t cited anything. My commentary stands.

          • CoffeeH
          • TrollopeReader

            Oh, yes. Superior, Pulitzer Prize winning journalism at its best! Robert Oscar Lopez, oh my!!

          • McSwagg

            You beat me to the punch! Well played.

          • CoffeeH

            Big Gay makes sure everyone else shuts up.

          • McSwagg

            We are just calling you out on all your propaganda, animus and lies. No-one has told you to shut up. We are just challenging your claims. Big Bigot can’t handle anyone standing up to them.

          • CoffeeH

            The main thing is “claims” will be tested as more testimony comes in from older children raised in gay families.

          • McSwagg

            So you admit that your lies are only claims that have not been tested. There will always be a few children in any demographic group that do not agree with their parents. That does not mean that group should be painted with the broad brush of propaganda and bigotry.

          • CoffeeH

            Ultimately, all of you comparing gay parents to the worst of hetero parents is not going to further your cause.

          • McSwagg

            You seem to have failed reading comprehension if that is what you got out of my comment.

          • CoffeeH

            You are comparing gays to the worst hetero parents when you say those children are no worse off than those of bad hetero parents.

          • McSwagg

            Projecting much? I said there were good and bad in all groups. You take that as all gay parents are worse than the worst hetero parents. Twisting the truth and spinning lies is all you seem to do.

          • Phillip in L.A.

            Were you raised in a gay family?

          • McSwagg

            Ah, yes. Quoting a story from a radical religious news propaganda source about a the animus laden amicus brief by Robert Oscar Lopez and others. This man has been thoroughly debunked as having more issues than National Geographic.

          • CoffeeH

            Have the testifying adult children of gay parents been “debunked”? No.

          • McSwagg

            First you claim there are ‘dozens’, then you link to a story of referencing ‘four’. Secondly, an amicus brief is the OPINION of the filers, not scientifically determine fact. Thirdly, you link to the story from a propaganda source that spins the story into something that it is not.

            I’d say, “Thoroughly debunked!”

          • TrollopeReader

            Yes. The Supremes ruled. Your side lost. Married folks can adopt, and do. And your side will continue to lose. You might want to see what Justice Kennedy said about “animus”. All states allow adoption by gay parents, with the *possible* exception of MS.

          • CoffeeH

            Children lost…so far.

  • CoffeeH


    13. Exposed to overt sexual activities like sodomy, nudity, pornography, group sex, sadomasochism.

    14. No guarantee that gay sex partners would be around for long.

    15. Violations of rights and innocence.

    16. Threats of no inheritance of homosexuality not accepted.

    17. Taught that those not accepting homosexuality love violence.

    18. Fear mongering.

    19. Taught to hate those that disagreed with parents.

    20. Sexual confusion with no true father figure.

  • SilasMarner

    This judge stepped way over his boundaries. He should be censured at least or removed from the bench at most! He’s clearly prejudicial towards gays.

  • coram nobis

    It also flies in the face of a recent ruling in a Utah Federal court, requiring the state to adhere to its own parenting laws regarding married couples after Obergefell.


    While not directly on point regarding a foster dispute it may still have language that would apply where a same-sex couple is singled out for unequal treatment.

  • TrollopeReader
    • TrollopeReader

      “Utah Guv ‘puzzled’ by judge ordering lesbian couple to give up foster child”

  • BudClark


  • nycmcmike

    WTF? I’m watching MSNBC and they have a segment on this and the person said the judge referrered to a study which stated heterosexual parents do better than homosexuals parents and the interviewer just treated it as fact. WTF is going on with mainstream media and their refusal to counter-attack any homophobic statement that is well known to be a flat out lie???

  • JCF

    “Judge Johansen cited research that children do better when they are raised by heterosexual couples”

    Hello, Regnerus BULLSHIT!

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  • usorthem3

    FUCK UTAH and it’s hate filled citizens.

  • Stubenville

    Putting one and one together, I have a sickening feeling that the recent church rules banning same sex married couples and their children from the Mormon church will be used as an excuse to deny gay and lesbian adoptions. Maybe not in this case, but soon.