Texas judge enforces ‘morality clause’ to split up lesbian couple

Judge John Roach Jr.

Judge John Roach Jr.

McKINNEY, Texas — A Texas judge has invoked a “morality clause” in a lesbian mother’s divorce from her husband, requiring that the woman’s current partner of three years vacate their home “in the interest and welfare” of the divorced couple’s children.

Judge John Roach Jr.

Collin County, Texas, District Court Judge John Roach Jr., enforced the “morality clause” last week in the divorce of Carolyn Lang Compton and Joshua Compton, and ruled that Carolyn Compton’s partner, Page Price, move out of the home within 30 days because the Compton’s two children live with the lesbian couple.

The Comptons were granted a divorce in 2011, but the case was reopened last month to dispute custody of their two children after Joshua Compton hired a private investigator to gather information on his ex-wife because she is gay. He wanted to bring the case before a judge “in the interest and welfare of the children.”

Under the rarely enforced clause, someone who has a “dating or intimate relationship” with the person or is not related “by blood or marriage” is not allowed in the home after 9 p.m. when the children are present.

According to Price, during the Comptons’ final divorce hearing, Roach stated that he did not like Carolyn’s “lifestyle.”

“Carolyn Lang Compton and I have been together almost three years and have a very happy and healthy home. Our children are all happy and well adjusted,” wrote Price, in a statement on her Facebook page. “By his enforcement, being that we cannot marry in this state, I have been ordered to move out of my home.”

Paige also alleged that Roach told Carolyn Compton’s attorney that if he could throw her in jail for being gay, he would.

The couple can appeal the decision, and legal observers indicate it would likely be overturned.

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