Utah GOP Proposes Law To Favor Heterosexual Couples In Adoptions

| by Sheena Vasani
LGBTQ rainbow flag with gavel on itLGBTQ rainbow flag with gavel on it

A Utah lawmaker recently proposed legislation that disadvantages same-sex couples in adoptions or foster care placements.

On Jan. 29, Republican State Rep. Kraig Powell of Heber City said the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization gay marriage doesn’t prevent Utah from favoring potential heterosexual foster parents, the New York Times reports.

While same-sex couples would be allowed to adopt, he proposed a bill that would favor heterosexual couples.

He said he is still working with state child welfare officials to figure out what rules would be included in the bill. According to him, it could involve officials either placing same-sex couples at the bottom of waiting lists or searching for heterosexual couples before placing a child with a gay couple.

However, under the proposed bill, same-sex couples would be given priority if they already had a relationship with the child.

Also it would only apply to children in state custody, not those involved in private adoptions.

Gay rights advocates call this bill blatantly unconstitutional.

"Any effort by [Powell] to roll back the rights and liberties of L.G.B.T. Utahns will be met with fierce resistance from our community," Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, told the Times.

Williams referred to a case against a judge in 2015 who ordered a lesbian couple to give up their foster child.

The judge claimed that children in homosexual homes don’t do well, despite overwhelming evidence countering this, Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said, according to CNN.

"Heartbreaking," April Hoagland, one of the foster parents involved in the case, told a local CNN affiliate at the time. "We've been told to take care like a mother would and I'm her mother, and that's who she knows and she's just going to be taken away in seven days to probably another good, loving home. 

"But it's not fair, and it's not right, and it hurts me very badly, because I have done nothing wrong."

After state officials complained and the case attracted national attention, the judge was forced to reverse his decision, the New Civil Rights Movement notes.

Sources: New York TimesCNN, New Civil Rights Movement / Photo Credit:, CityofStPete/Flickr

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