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Texas Judge Invokes Morality Clause To Split Up A Lesbian Couple

Judge John Roach

Substitute “lesbian” for “African-American” or “Jew” and imagine the outrage at this Judge’s version of “morality”:

Carolyn Compton is in a three year-old relationship with a woman. Moreover, according to Compton’s partner Page Price, Compton’s ex-husband rarely sees their two children. That same ex-husband was also once charged with stalking Compton, a felony, although he eventually plead to a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing.

And yet, thanks to a Texas judge, Compton could lose custody of her children because she has the audacity to live with the woman she loves.

According to Price, Judge John Roach, a Republican who presides over a state trial court in McKinney, Texas, placed a so-called “morality clause” in Compton’s divorce papers. This clause forbids Compton having a person that she is not related to “by blood or marriage” at her home past 9pm when her children are present. Because Texas will not allow Compton to marry her partner, this means that she effectively cannot live with her partner so long as she retains custody over her children. Invoking the “morality clause,” Judge Roach gave Price 30 days to move out of Compton’s home.

Compton can appeal Price’s decision, but her appeal will be heard by the notoriously conservative Texas court system. Ultimately, the question of whether Compton’s relationship with Price is entitled to the same dignity accorded to any other loving couple could rest with the United States Supreme Court.

Yet another reason why marriage equality needs to be the law of the land.


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