Judge Orders Gay Married Man Not to Leave Children Alone with His Husband, Or Anyone Else

Categories: Courts

flowers.jpg
Photo by Mandy Oaklander
Protesters flocked to family courts Friday.
When William and Lacey Flowers got divorced, she got custody of their three kids.

After William Flowers traveled to Connecticut to remarry in 2010 -- this time, to a man -- he tried again to get custody. But he didn't get the kids. Instead, some say he got a heaping pile of homophobia.

A jury denied Flowers's request for custody of his twin nine-year-old girls and 14-year-old boy. But the verdict came back with a little something extra.

In an injunctive section, Judge Charley Prine ordered that Flowers cannot leave his children with any man who isn't part of the family "by blood or adoption" without Lacey's express permission.

Male babysitters, doctors, neighbors -- not to mention Jim Evans, Flowers's husband -- were barred from exclusive contact with the children. This isn't common stuff, and GLBT media pounced on the story. About the same time that word was getting out, the judge changed the language in the order again. Now, "leaving or placing the children in the care of any [emphasis added] person not related to the children by blood or adoption" is forbidden, without approval by Lacey.

Evans, who is a family attorney, said he has never come across so restrictive an order, especially without the order naming any cause or wrongdoing. Flowers has never been charged with a crime. "It's unheard of," he said. "If somebody gets sick and has to go to the doctor, he can't just take them to the doctor. He has to take all of them."

"It's not totally exclusive," said Jennifer Broussard, Lacey's attorney. "Lacey can agree to do otherwise. It's just these unknown people about whom William will not divulge any information to Lacey -- that just can't happen."

Was she referring to William Flowers's husband, Jim Evans? Hair Balls asked.

"Well, he doesn't have a husband in Texas, dear," Broussard said.

Evans said that his husband hasn't asked Lacey for permission to allow him as an exception, and that he doesn't plan to. "She would never ever let the kids be left with me," he said. "It will never happen." The two don't get along, he said. Lacey charged her husband with assault twice. The 2003 case was dismissed, and in the 2004 case, Flowers was found not guilty.

Now, she holds all the cards.

If Evans ever had a gay client who wanted to ask for custody in courtroom 309, where Flowers's case remains, he said he would advise against it. "You may lose, and if you lose, the judge is going to take away all your rights with your kids," he explained.

About 20 of Flowers's supporters showed up in front of the family courts Friday, holding flowers and signs protesting Judge Prine's order. "It's somewhere between outrageous and unbelievable," said Steve Hartung, half of an elderly couple who attend Flowers's and Evans's church.

Diana Sims, an attorney, said she's never seen anything like this. "For the judge to slam him like this for no reason whatsoever is just pure homophobia," she said.


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25 comments
dollygail
dollygail

Sounds to me like the mom's concerns are more about the abusive past and the attorneys have dug around and tried to turn the case into a gay rights issue instead. She probably just doesn't want her children unprotected around the people this jerk surrounds himself with regardless of whether they are gay or straight.

jake8jazz
jake8jazz

Poor kids.  Who is Hair Balls?

Gary_gillmore
Gary_gillmore

Only 10% of gay men were born that way, the other 90% got sucked into it.

Cmlogan40
Cmlogan40

Kids today care more about what age they can get a phone then if their parents are gay. Anyone who sayskids of gay parents are proportionately more messed up than kids of straight parents probably hasn't even met any kids to speak of!

Glbtshutup
Glbtshutup

Gay rights before children's rights. These kids have been put through enough. Now they get to be made fun at school. Thanks glbt you just made these kids life worse.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Way to live a stereotype, Texas.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

"Well, he doesn't have a husband in Texas, dear," Broussard said.

Barf.

Allison
Allison

"Well, he doesn't have a husband in Texas, dear," Broussard said.How fucking petty of that attorney, I can just imagine the smirk on her face as she said it.

rextrek1
rextrek1

screw Texas and the ex-wife bitch......what a pathetic C...t

rextrek1
rextrek1

I expect nothing less from the Hate state of Texas ...and thats why they'll NEVER see my tourism dollars.

Katy
Katy

The problem is, of course, that as a judge, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Had that Republican judge acknowledged Evans' relationship, he would have been blackballed when the next election came along and likely faced a Republican primary challenger.

That's what happened about ten years ago when a 3-judge (Republican) state appeals court found the Texas sodomy statute to be unconstitutional. The state GOP said that they would take action against the Republican judges who found against the law, and sure enough, when the appeals court heard the case en banc, the 2 Republican judges suddenly found the same statute constitutional. (Ultimately, the Supremes threw the sodomy law out)...

Come election day, it pays to discriminate in Texas.

ReasonWillTriumph
ReasonWillTriumph

This will only help end marriage discrimination.

All things get better in time.

Malcolm Ratliffe
Malcolm Ratliffe

you are twisted, they do care if their parents are gay. 

Fuckoff
Fuckoff

Divorce isn't hard enough, but having a parent leave to marry someone of the same sex isn't a common occurrence. And kids today still make fun of other kids.

Since you know everything-What kind of person marries someone, lives a lie, and has kids? Then one day decides "screw this family", I'm a selfish ass hole and need to suck some dick. Who cares if I fuck up my kids lives forever? I'm a huge piece of shit! Woo hoo

Allison
Allison

Actually what made these kids' lives worse was the judge who insured they can't even see a doctor or a teacher when they are with their dad. If there was reason to believe the kids wouldn't be safe in the new husband's care the judge would have spelled that out in the verdict.Being gay, or having gay parents doesn't hurt kids. Bigotry does.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

The ex-wife had nothing to do with this. She didn't request it, form what I understand.

Sftd
Sftd

Yeah I think we here in Texas are better off if you don't come.

Allison
Allison

The judge didn't have to acknowledge the relationship though. All he had to do was deny custody and leave it at that. He added on the provision (which from what I've read the ex-wife didn't even request). It's bigotry, plain and simple.

Fuckoff
Fuckoff

Yes, well it ruled the wife had to agree to let them stay. Also, their mom will be taking them to school. The school Where other kids will make fun of them because their dad is a selfish fucked up person.

SheepODoom
SheepODoom

I've been to texass ... Not much worth seeing. I say move NASA & close ALL military bases then wall the state off.

rextrek1
rextrek1

dont worry - I wouldnt spit on tx..let alone take a crap there or spend a dam cent

SheepODoom
SheepODoom

Here is how this will play out... The Kids as they reach an age they can request to live with the father OR Turn n18 they will tell this B**ch to go F herself & disown her to go live with their dad. 

Allison
Allison

It's selfish to want to see your kids and have your new spouse see them as well? You know, I'm fine with the dad being selfish in that case.

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