Texas Judge John Roach Jr. Forces Lesbian Couple Carolyn Compton and Page Price to Live Separately or Lose Children
A lesbian couple has been forced to break up their happy home by a homophobic Texas judge who threatened to take their two children away if they continued to live together.
According to Dallas Voice, Page Price and Carolyn Compton of McKinney, Collin County have been together for nearly three years. They have two children, who are Compton’s from a previous marriage. Her ex-husband, Joshua Compton, persuaded Judge John Roach Jr., a Republican who reportedly stated he disapproved of Carolyn’s “lifestyle,” to insert a ‘morality clause’ in their divorce settlement stating that she is barred from having anyone with whom she is in an “intimate dating relationship” in her home between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. unless they are married. Same-sex marriages are illegal in Texas.
After reportedly hiring a private detective to spy on his ex-wife, Joshua Compton, who was charged with felony stalking in 2011 and who reportedly almost never sees his children, asked the court to enforce the ‘morality clause’ and jail Carolyn. While Judge Roach refused to have Compton arrested, he did issue her an ultimatum: stop living with Price within 30 days or lose custody of her children.
Attorneys for the couple have indicated that they will comply with the judge’s order.
“Ms. Compton and Ms. Price plan to comply with the court’s clarification order, even though it will be disruptive to their family and has the potential of being harmful to the children,” a statement prepared on behalf of the couple reads in part. It continues:
We believe it to be unconstitutional under right to privacy cases, parental rights 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… 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.
Ken Upton Jr., senior staff attorney at Lambda Legal’s Dallas office, told Dallas Voice that gay couples are unfairly targeted by ‘morality clauses’ because they cannot marry in Texas.
“What the clause has become is an extra burden on gay people because they’re no more likely to violate it than straight people,” Upton said. “It’s a problem that continues with homophobia.”
Compton and Price may appeal Judge Roach’s decision.
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