McKINNEY, Texas -- A Collin County judge is enforcing a morality clause in divorce papers to force a lesbian mom's partner to move out of the home they share with the mom's two children.
Judge John Roach Jr., a Republican in the 296th District Court in Texas, gave Page Price 30 days to move out of the house she has shared the past three years with Carolyn Compton and her two children.
The ex-husband, Joshua Compton, apparently instigated the case after hiring a private investigator to develop the case. The Dallas Voice reported that Price described her plight on Facebook, triggering an outpouring of support.
The morality clause is rarely used in modern times because of lifestyle changes, including the vast number of divorces that now occur. The morality clause requires the divorced person who is dating someone to send that person home after 9 pm if children are living with the divorcee.
Price wrote on her Facebook page that the judge put the morality clause in her partner's divorce papers because he didn't like Compton's "lifestyle."
“Our children are all happy and well adjusted. By his enforcement, being that we cannot marry in this state, I have been ordered to move out of my home,” Price wrote.
Dallas Voice reported:
Ken Upton Jr., senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal’s Dallas office, said he is familiar with the case. He said morality clauses are rarely enforced and were historically used to prevent unmarried people from cohabitating with children present. Courts often include the clauses without people knowing, especially in conservative areas like Collin County, he said.
Gay couples are unfairly targeted under the clause because they can’t legally marry in Texas, Upton said.
So, an ex who is upset that his marriage ended because his wife was gay could use it against her later.
“What the clause has become is an extra burden on gay people because they’re no more likely to violate it than straight people,” he said. “It’s a problem that continues with homophobia.”
The couple plan to appeal the judge's order.
Dallas Voice said a fundraiser for Page Price and Carolyn Compton’s attorney fees will be from 3 to 6 pm Sunday, May 19, at Eden Lounge, 2911 Main St. in McKinney. Admission is $25. Checks can also be sent to Dee Pennington, c/o Dallas Credit Union payable to Page Price. Mark Personal on envelope and mail to 1301 Young St. #100, Dallas, TX 75202.