Utah Judge Orders Lesbian Couple to Give Up Foster Daughter

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A lesbian couple in Utah was told by a judge to relinquish their 1-year-old foster daughter because, according to the judge, heterosexual couples provide a better environment for children than homosexual ones. AP Photo/Jessica Hilh

Utah judge ordered a lesbian couple to give up their foster daughter because, according to the judge, heterosexual couples are more fit to raise children than homosexual ones—and despite the fact that same-sex marriage has been legal in Utah since 2013.

The story was first reported by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Judge Scott Johansen ordered the couple, Beckie Peirce, 34, and April Hoagland, 38, to hand over their 1-year-old foster daughter to the Utah Division of Child and Family Services. The girl has been living with the couple for three months. The agency will be given one week to re-home the child.

"He said he has research to back that children do better in heterosexual homes," Hoagland told the Salt Lake Tribune. The couple is also raising two of Peirce's biological children, a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old.

The couple has hired a lawyer and plans to take legal action to keep the girl. They said the Utah Division of Child and Family Services backs their attempt. "DCFS wants us to have the child, the Guardian Ad Litem wants us to have the child, the mother wants us to have the child, so the only thing standing in the way is the judge," Peirce told the Tribune.