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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 24, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 21
Stop living together, Lesbian couple told - TX judge enforces 'morality' clause in woman's divorce decree
Section One
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Stop living together, Lesbian couple told - TX judge enforces 'morality' clause in woman's divorce decree

by Mike Andrew SGN Staff Writer A district judge in Collin County, Texas, has ordered a Lesbian couple to stop living together.

Judge John Roach Jr. gave Page Price 30 days to move out of the house she shared with Carolyn Compton and Compton's two daughters, ages 10 and 13.

Compton divorced her husband, Joshua Compton, in 2011. In the divorce order was a so-called 'morality clause' forbidding the custodial parent - in this case, Carolyn - from having a sexual partner spend the night while the children are in the home.

Joshua reopened the case last month, disputing the custody arrangements. He requested that Judge Roach enforce the morality clause.

ANTI-GAY BIAS DENIED
If the custodial parent remarries, the clause would be void, but Carolyn Compton and her partner may not marry under Texas law. Nevertheless, the judge said that the law did not specifically target Gay or Lesbian couples.

'It's a general provision for the benefit of the children,' the judge said, adding that the language was gender-neutral.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the clause is part of the standing orders that apply to every divorce case filed in Collin County and remains in force while the divorce is pending. In the case of the Comptons' divorce, the clause was also added to their final divorce decree. It has no expiration date.

Price and Carolyn Compton said in a statement that they believe the clause is unconstitutional.

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 States Supreme Court has identified as the liberty of thought, belief, and expression,' they said.

But the couple also said they would comply with the order, 'even though it will be disruptive to their family and has the potential of being harmful to the children.' They are considering whether to file an appeal.

IT'S FOR THE KIDS
Joshua Compton's attorney, Paul Key, said his client wanted the morality clause enforced for his children's benefit.

'I see how this creates a situation where [Carolyn] can't marry Page, while [Joshua] could marry a girlfriend,' Key told the Huffington Post. 'But that's not why we're doing it. We would have done the same thing if it were some guy that had moved in.'

In an interview with the Associated Press, Key added, 'The fact that they can't get married in Texas is a legislative issue. It's not really our issue.'

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