This is a fair question: Why do angry grown-ups take it out on children?
No, really, after all these years of hearing homophobes wailing, “What about the children! Won’t someone please think of the children!” just what are we to think about the astounding temper tantrums in which allegedly responsible, sober adults―judges, legislators, governors, whole churches―aim to harm children in order to make some sort of stupid point? To the one, by the time we get back to Utah, we’re not surprised. To the other―
A married Carbon County couple says they plan to fight a judge’s order that would force them to give up their infant foster daughter simply because they are lesbians.
You are not ....
What? What can I possibly say?
God help the children of Utah; they really, really need it right now.
[Beckie] Peirce, 34, and her wife, 38-year-old April Hoagland, have had the 9-month-old girl in their home for three months while the state moves toward terminating her biological mother’s parental rights.
“The mother has asked us to adopt,” Hoagland said.
So the pair — who married in October 2014 and were licensed as foster parents earlier this year — were caught off guard Tuesday when 7th District Court Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen ordered the child removed from their care.
The Salt Lake Tribune report notes that while the judge asserted he has research data to back his argument that children fare better in heterosexual homes, he did not offer up any actual source material, even when the the state Division of Child and Family Services asked. Or when the office of the Guardian Ad Litem asked.
Attorney Mandie Torgerson, who represents the baby’s biological mother, said Johansen did not cite the research he referenced in court saying only that there are “a myriad” of studies that support his order.
Torgerson said her client is upset. She will appeal the judge’s order at a hearing has been set for early December.
Brent Platt, Director of the state’s Division of Child and Family Services, said he had not seen the judge’s order – but his caseworkers must comply. At the same time, he wants to make sure his caseworkers don’t break the law by removing the child. He will have his division’s attorneys look at the judge’s order.
“For us, it’s what’s best for the child,” he said.
This cannot stand. It will not stand. The Tribune recalls Judge Scott Johansen’s controversial history, including a reprimand from the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission for assaulting a sixteen year-old in the courthouse. Apparently, the juvenile court judge has no real care for professional integrity or general decency.
Still, why bother trying? Already pretty much everyone is looking at this skeptically, and this is in Utah.
Bigotry is cruelty, which in turn is why people choose to be bigots. This is what they do, and this is how they do it. And Judge Scott Johansen is willing to take it out on an infant.
What the hell is anyone supposed to say about that?
Image Note: April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce, during an interview in Salt Lake City, Utah, 11 November 2015. (Source photo: Steve Griffin/Salt Lake Tribune)
Dobner, Jennifer. “Utah judge orders same-sex couple to give up foster child, says baby would be better off with heterosexual parents”. The Salt Lake Tribune. 11 November 2015.
Flores, Cristina. “Foster parents say child removed from their home because they are gay”. KUTV. 10 November 2015.