Judge reverses order to take baby from lesbian couple — will obey the law


Republican governor tells judge to follow the law

A Utah judge has reversed his decision to take a baby away from her lesbian foster parents and place her with a heterosexual couple, after the initial ruling led to widespread backlash.

Judge Scott Johansen signed an order, which was released Friday, that will allow the 9-month-old baby to stay with April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce, a married couple who live in the city of Price.

Johansen had said in court Tuesday that the baby would be removed from the couple’s home. Utah officials and the couple filed court challenges demanding the judge rescind the order.

In his first decision, Johansen cited [crap] research that allegedly showed children do better when raised by heterosexual families. However, the American Psychological Association has said there is no scientific basis to the belief that same-sex couples are unfit parents based on sexual orientation…

Hoagland and Peirce are among a number of same-sex married couples who were allowed to become foster parents in Utah after last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal across the country. State officials don’t keep an exact count, but estimate there are a dozen or more foster parents who are married same-sex couples.

The move to take the baby away generated widespread criticism, including from national gay rights groups and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert…Herbert said Thursday that Johansen should follow the law and not inject his personal beliefs into the decision.

Groups including the Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union called the order shocking, outrageous and unjust.

Life might also be more just for the whole nation if bigots and reactionaries got around to obeying laws instead of circumventing progress and imposing their petty ideology on others. BTW, I include phony libertarians and papier mache conservatives in that clot of ignorance, selfishness and egregious anarchy.

Feds indict 3 for burning cross at home of Black foster child

Three men have been charged with burning a cross in the western Pennsylvania yard of a black teenager last year…

Federal officials charged Michael Bealonis, 18, and Kenneth Stiffey Jr., 20, both of Robinson, Pa., and Michael Bracken, 22, of Bolivar, Pa., with conspiracy to interfere with the housing rights of another, interfering with the housing rights of another, and using fire in the commission of a felony.

The teenager was not identified by federal officials or in the indictment issued Tuesday. But the boy’s guardian, Joe Walbeck, confirmed…that the charges related to a cross burning at their rural Bolivar home in November. Walbeck said the three men charged were white and that one of them lived just a few houses away…

Walbeck, who is white, said he and his wife took in 16-year-old Shaq Howard as a foster child about four years ago because he was having problems with his family. They live in a predominantly white community about an hour east of Pittsburgh and are now legal guardians of the boy.

The Walbecks have taken in about 16 foster children during the last six years at their home in West Wheatfield Township, Indiana County. They’ve had a couple of biracial foster children, but Shaq is their first black child.

Walbeck said Shaq wasn’t friends with the men charged, but he does know who they are.

“He never dreamt that they would do something like that to him,” Walbeck said of the 6-foot-tall cross he found charred on his lawn last year.

If convicted, all three could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and fined up to $750,000.

Throw away the key!