Next time someone questions the necessity of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, you can point them to this story.
Carolyn Compton is in a relationship with Page Price. They live together in Texas, as many unmarried couples do throughout the country. Compton has custody of children from a previous marriage. But after nearly three years together, a judge is forcing Page to move out.
Judge John Roach Jr., a Republican who presides over the 296th District Court, enforced the “morality clause” in Compton’s divorce papers on Tuesday, May 7. Under the clause, someone who has a “dating or intimate relationship” with the person or is not related “by blood or marriage” is not allowed after 9 p.m. when the children are present. Price was given 30 days to move out of the home because the children live with the couple.
Texas, if you’ll remember, is not one of the 12 U.S. states (plus DC) that allows gay and lesbian couples to marry.
So what this judge and the state of Texas are saying to gay men and lesbians is, hey, you can’t get married and if you have kids we’re going to make it super hard to live with your partner!
To add insult to injury, the Dallas Voice reports that Compton’s ex was charged with third-degree felony stalking, but pled guilty to misdemeanor criminal trespassing. Price added that the ex rarely sees the children. Sounds like a super great parent. But I guess that’s better than lesbians living together. Because GROSS.
But even if the everything in the immediately preceding paragraph is untrue, this situation is completely unfair. It’s impossible for Compton to marry her partner in Texas. By state constitutional amendment, no less. (Because you need to get your icky feelings codified in a document meant to preserve rights.) Texas has set up a system that forces gay men and lesbians to choose between their children and the person they want to spend their lives with. It’s just another example – as if we needed one – of why marriage equality is so important.
Photo: Lynn Friedman/flickr