- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2015

A Utah judge has reversed his decision to remove a baby from the foster home of a lesbian couple next week, following widespread backlash from the LGBT community.

Court officials on Friday released an order signed by Judge Scott Johansen that will allow the 9-month-old girl to stay with April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce in Carbon County, The Associated Press reported.

It comes after Mr. Johansen said in court Tuesday that the baby must be transferred to a heterosexual foster couple, citing research that showed children do better when raised by heterosexual families. However, the American Psychological Association has said there’s no scientific basis that gay couples are unfit parents based on sexual orientation, AP reported.

Ashley Sumner, spokeswoman for the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, said the revised order released Friday doesn’t rule out the chance that the judge could order the child removed following a custody hearing on Dec. 4, AP reported.

She said child welfare officials are working to keep the family together.

The couple’s plight drew the attention of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, who tweeted her support Wednesday.

“Being a good parent has nothing to do with sexual orientation — thousands of families prove that,” the post read.

The couple said the baby’s biological mother has asked them to adopt.

“We love her and she loves us, and we haven’t done anything wrong,” Ms. Peirce said Wednesday, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. “And the law, as I understand it, reads that any legally married couple can foster and adopt.”

The Human Rights Campaign said Friday that it had filed a formal complaint with the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission and called for a full investigation into Judge Johansen.

“It is unconscionable that any judge would let bias interfere with determining the true best interest of a child and we strongly encourage the commission to take appropriate action to hold this Judge accountable and to affirm that personal bias has no place in judicial decisions in Utah,” HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said in a statement.

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