North Texas Judge Forces Lesbian Couple Raising Children to Live Apart

Categories: Texas

Roach.jpg
Judge Roach decided to force two North Texas lesbians to live apart from one another.
A couple in McKinney, Texas, has been together for nearly three years. They've been together following one's messy divorce. They've helped raise the two young children that were on the receiving end of the acrimony following that split. After living under the same roof, the couple has, according to one, "a very happy and healthy home. Our children are happy and well adjusted."

But earlier this month, a Collin County judge, citing a "morality clause," decided to force one to move from the house in the course of the following 30 days. And while most couples would be able to circumvent such ruling by getting married, thus abrogating the morality clause the judge cited, the two in this relationship don't have that option. Same-sex marriage is still illegal in Texas. And per Judge John Roach Jr.'s ruling, Page Price and Carolyn Compton will be forced to live separately until the state's gay marriage ban is lifted.

The issue stems from a clause Compton signed following her 2011 divorce from Joshua Compton. According to the morality clause, Compton is not allowed to have anyone with whom she maintains a "dating or intimate relationship" at her house past 9 p.m. when children are present. As the Dallas Voice reports, morality clauses are almost never enforced -- and, even when they are, they present almost all other couples with the opportunity of marriage, thus nullifying the clause entirely.

However, Roach felt it necessary to enforce the clause -- in 2013, we've determined it legally binding to withhold such freedoms? -- and ordered Price to find new lodging within 30 days. As the Republican judge said, "It's a general provision for the benefit of the children." Right. For the children.

Compton and Price disagree. As Price wrote on her Facebook, "We will fight it all the way! ... It is a clear violation of our civil rights. [The clause] is a burden on parents, regardless of their sexual orientation, that takes away and unreasonably limits their ability to make parental decisions of whom their children may be around and unreasonably limits what the United State Supreme Court has identified as the liberty of thought, belief and expression "

Since Compton's clause does not have any end date, the couple has few options. If they want to live with one another, they will either have to move to another state that allows gay marriage; wait until the children have moved out; or bide their time until Texas legalizes gay marriage. While we like to think the last option the most feasible -- Texas has the 15th-highest percentage of same-sex couples raising children, after all -- this ruling can't help but leave a bad taste in your mouth.

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34 comments
katydidknot
katydidknot

There are two problems here, so far as I can tell. First, while a straight person would be able to get married and therefore live with someone without coming afoul of this clause.

Second, some people just can't get past the fact that they're not with their ex anymore, and feel compelled to hurt them in any way they can. 

Sad...

Hege Bringsli
Hege Bringsli

It is a shame that he is a judge. He is too narrow minded to remain in such an important position.

KD Davis
KD Davis

Read the article folks. Article spells everything out.

Melia Hughes
Melia Hughes

She signed a contract. She violated the contract. It's not even complicated. It's just sad that she did that, because it created this situation.

Faith Soulsista
Faith Soulsista

I guess none of you have been in mediation, broke, and had your attorney advise you to sign something against your will because you don't have any other choice? This ruling doesn't surprise since they can tell parents where they have to live. Once you're in the family court system, you have no rights. Judges decide your life based on "the best interest of the child."

PC Cavazos
PC Cavazos

yes ! Jerise - Judges rule on orders of contempt brought by a party in the suit - a contempt order doesn't see sexual orientation

Alison Nicole Osmond
Alison Nicole Osmond

I'm sorry, but I think it's wrong.... Regardless of religious or political offiliation; if two people choose to cohabitate and raise a child, they certainly should be able to.

Steven Hammer
Steven Hammer

Legally the judge is right, the issue is that if this couple were able to marry, the morality clause would not have been invoked.

Melissa Vivanco
Melissa Vivanco

I would love to know how many heterosexuals couple in this judges district had the "morality" clause enforced?

Melissa Vivanco
Melissa Vivanco

Wrong!!! Allowing any judge to push his own personal beliefs on others is WRONG!

David Aulds
David Aulds

The judge is 100% correct and since this is North Texas the decision seems to be final because everywhere else in Texas is very Conservative.

Melia Hughes
Melia Hughes

Apparently, you didn't read the article.

Jerise Harris-Henson
Jerise Harris-Henson

You think he would have enforced that rule had the couple been heterosexual? I know so many separated/divorced Texans with new lovers living in the home their ex-spouse still pays for with the children and everything and I have yet to hear of a judge doing this. This was the judge's way of enforcing "his" morality.

Melia Hughes
Melia Hughes

I think most of the folks who are commenting are doing so based on the headline, which is inflammatory and misleading, rather than actually reading the article. I was expecting to hate the judge too, but he was just doing his job.

Mindi Brown
Mindi Brown

This is so backwoods and sad. I would just move.

Tom Burke
Tom Burke

like it or not, the judge is right. The law is gender neutral. He is simply enforcing the law, how it is written. Makes a lot of sense if you actually read the article and not respond to the headline. The judge is right.

Katherine Dwyer Raney
Katherine Dwyer Raney

What was the judge supposed to do? Ignore the signed contract? I was ready to hate the judge, but as they say in the Marines, "U Signed the M*f* Contract". Texas needs to legalize gay marriage. The end.

Thomas Hanks
Thomas Hanks

It's the houston press, you should expect shoddy journalism. I just enjoy their food articles!

Jerise Harris-Henson
Jerise Harris-Henson

LOL "morality" clause. I wonder what goes on in the good judge's home...

Steven Perry
Steven Perry

Yes, because keeping them together could almost be traumatic. Those poor kids, forced to have TWO loving parents.

Melia Hughes
Melia Hughes

Your headline is a bit misleading. The judge is simply insisting that she abide by the contract she signed of her own free will. It's legally right, based on what she signed during her divorce. Unfortunately, that's how the judge is supposed to rule, legally and not morally.

PC Cavazos
PC Cavazos

these clauses are enforced if the other party brings a contempt order - sounds like the Judge was ruling on a contempt order from the ex-husband....where is that info ?

rgwalt
rgwalt

The morality clause is stupid, but if violated, it could be used by the ex-husband as a means to change the custody agreement. 

In my opinion, it isn't the state's business who a person marries.  It isn't about gay rights, it is about having less government involvement in our lives.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

You know, I've been meaning to start a petition on change.org. So, I know what I'm doing/tweeting as soon as I'm off Uncle Sugar's dime.

NewsDog
NewsDog

@rgwalt Yes it's stupid but she signed the divorce papers and so she is bound by them. So is Dad. If Dad had a girlfriend she couldn't stay the night with Dad on nights/weekends when he had the kids. 

It's a fairly standard clause in divorce cases and enforcement gets used when one ex spouse wants to extract a little grief on the other. It's gender neutral and lifestyle/orientation neutral. It's used most often by Moms digging at the ex husband who left them  for a new/younger version.    

rgwalt
rgwalt

Agreed, she signed the papers, she has to live with the agreement.  Obviously her (presumably) straight ex husband is at an advantage here... he can always remarry, while the state refuses to recognize a same sex marriage.

athorin
athorin

@rgwalt same sex couple or not she signed the papers.    She has an up hill battle I am afraid.   We need to be more careful to what we agree to.

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