(SALT LAKE CITY) — A judge in Utah has removed himself from a controversial case.
Judge Scott Johansen ordered a 9-month-old girl to be taken away from her lesbian foster parents, April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce, last week, a decision that received a lot of national backlash.
Both women, who have cared for the child since August, are married, licensed foster parents and want to adopt her, reported the Salt Lake Tribune.
The judge said it was “not in the best interest of children to be raised by same-sex couples,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
His reasoning was that research showed children were better off in families with a mother and a father, a claim that the American Psychological Association says is false.
Last week, Johansen reversed the decision, but as the public called for his impeachment and the couple asked to have him disqualified, he decided Monday to step aside from the case.
In a statement through LGBT advocacy group Equity Utah, Hoagland and Peirce said, “We are thankful that Judge Johansen has decided to step aside. Our greatest concern now is taking care of our beautiful baby foster daughter. We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from people all across the nation. We are grateful that our family is now being treated equally under the law.”
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