McKINNEY, Texas – A lesbian couple will comply with a Republican judge’s order to no longer live together due to a morality clause included in one of the women’s divorce papers, even though their attorney contends that the ruling is a violation of their constitutional right to privacy.
An attorney representing the couple issued a statement this week and revealed new information about the court action by Judge John Roach Jr., who has come under widespread criticism for his decision that split apart the couple.
The whole matter is the result of the actions of the ex-husband of Carolyn Compton. The ex-husband also sought to have his ex-wife jailed for violating the morality clause, which is rarely enforced, but the judge declined.
Carolyn Compton has custody of her two children with Joshua Compton and has shared a home with Page Price for the past three years.
The judge ordered Price to move out because the morality clause forbids anyone to be in a divorcee’s home where there are children between 9 pm and 7 am.
The attorney contends that the judge’s order violates the couple’s constitutional right to privacy, and upheld in court decisions including the landmark
Lawrence v. Texas.
Statement of behalf of Carolyn Compton and Page Price
On behalf of our clients, Carolyn Compton and Page Price our firm is issuing this statement related to Ms. Compton’s latest family court hearing. Ms. Compton’s ex-husband filed a Motion for Enforcement of Permanent Injunction and Order to Appear against Ms. Compton. The enforcement was related solely to a morality clause injunction which prohibits the parties from having an overnight guest (of any sex) with whom they have an intimate dating relationship while the children are present during the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Mr. Compton requested that the court find Ms. Compton in contempt, jailed, and fined for each of his 181 alleged violations. We are pleased with the Court’s ruling in our favor that found the morality clause was too ambiguous and not clear enough to hold Ms. Compton in contempt by jail. The Court did not put Ms. Compton in jail, fine her, or order her to pay fees in this case so far.
We are disappointed, however, that the Court decided to clarify the morality clause in an attempt to make it enforceable. The Court ordered Ms. Compton to comply with the clarification within 30 days. This has the effect of kicking Ms. Price, Ms. Compton’s partner of more than two years, out of the home they share. Ms. Compton and Ms. Price plan to comply with the Courts clarification order, even though it will be disruptive to their family and has the potential of being harmful to the children.
The new language anticipated by the court is no less problematic and we believe it to be unconstitutional under right to privacy cases, parental right cases, and the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. We believe a sweeping permanent injunction like the one entered here cannot be justified in light of today’s law. We believe that a so-called “morality” clause, like the one the court intends to enter, 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.
Ms. Compton and Ms. Price would like for the press to respect their privacy with this matter, since there are children involved, the case is ongoing, and there is a potential for appeal. If you have any follow up questions please contact Barrett A. Stern and Michael D. Dement of Dement Roach & Stern PLLC.
Barrett A. Stern
Michael D. Dement
Dement Roach & Stern PLLC