A Texas judge ruled that a lesbian couple can’t live in the same home because of a morality clause in one of the women’s divorce papers, AP reports. The couple claims they are victims of discrimination from the judge who personally disagrees with their “lifestyle.”
Carolyn Compton divorced Joshua Compton after 11 years of marriage in 2010. In a hearing in early May, District Judge John Roach Jr. enforced the morality clause from Carolyn’s divorce papers that ordered her partner of three years, Page Price, to move out of the home they shared with the Comptons’ 10- and 13-year-old daughters, the Dallas Morning News reports.
A morality clause, common in divorce cases in Texas, is designed to stop an unmarried parent from having a romantic partner stay overnight in the home while the children are present, the Dallas Morning News reports. While heterosexual couples can evade the clause by getting married, gay couples don’t have that option since same-sex marriage is illegal in Texas.
“By his enforcement, being that we cannot marry in this state, I have been ordered to move out of my home,” Paige Price said in Facebook post. “Said judge offered further information to our attorneys that if he could throw [Carolyn] in jail for being gay he would. The only reason he didn't incarcerate her was because of a technicality our attorneys found in the original wording.”
The Comptons filed for divorce in 2010, which was finalized on June 30, 2011. Court records show the case was reopened in early April.
In the same Facebook post, Price said Carolyn’s ex-husband was behind the judge’s recent enforcement, saying he ordered a private investigator to find evidence that would force Paige out.
This wouldn’t be Compton’s first time following his ex-wife. In 2011, Joshua pled guilty to criminal trespass and was arrested for the unlicensed installation of a tracking device. Price’s post said he was “stalking” Carolyn during that time.
The couple said they will comply with the order but that they believe the clause is unconstitutional. In a statement, they said it is "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."