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Judge Orders Gay Man Can’t Leave Children with Husband

Judge Orders Gay Man Can’t Leave Children with Husband


A Texas father has been left reeling after a judge†effectively†barred him from allowing his three children to be alone with his husband after the judge specified the kids couldn’t be left with anyone not related by blood or adoption.

The father, William Flowers, divorced ex-wife Lacey Flowers in 2004 and has since gone on to marry a male partner, Jim Evan. Flowers and Evans†traveled†to the state of Connecticut to wed in 2010 because Texas does not allow — or recognize — same-sex marriage.

Flowers’ ex-wife gained full custody of the children after their divorce. William Flowers recently challenged this but earlier this year a jury denied him sole custody of his twin nine-year-old girls and 14-year-old boy but did maintain William’s weekly visits with the children.

However the presiding judge, Judge Charley Prince, then issued an order in June, signed last Friday, that contained a restriction that Flowers cannot leave or place his children in the care of any “person not related to the children by blood or adoption” without ex-wife Lacey’s express permission. This means he can’t leave his kids with his husband unless his ex-wife allows it, and given the bad feeling there this seems unlikely.

Now this kind of order would not be unusual in cases where there have been proven incidents of abuse or wrongdoing. Lacey has twice brought assault charges against William. A 2003 case was dismissed, and a separate case in 2004 saw William Flowers found not guilty. Therefore there seems no basis for the judge’s restriction. What’s more, William Flowers’ partner Jim Evans actually has children of his own from a previous marriage, and with no recorded troubles there he would seem a suitable care†provider.

William Flowers contends that, with this restriction, the judge has shown judicial activism and homophobia.

ABC News has the story:

Austin family law attorney Jennifer Cochran is quoted as saying the order “strikes at the very heart of the fact that he’s gay Ö itís judicial activism, legislating from the bench.”

Another attorney, Diana Simms, said she’s unaware of there ever being an order quite like this, adding “for the judge to slam him like this for no reason whatsoever is just pure homophobia.”

So what says Lacey’s attorney? From Houston Press’ Hair Balls Blog:

Evans, who is a family attorney, said he has never come across so restrictive an order, especially without the order naming any cause or wrongdoing. Flowers has never been charged with a crime. “It’s unheard of,” he said. “If somebody gets sick and has to go to the doctor, he can’t just take them to the doctor. He has to take all of them.”

“It’s not totally exclusive,” said Jennifer Broussard, Lacey’s attorney. “Lacey can agree to do otherwise. It’s just these unknown people about whom William will not divulge any information to Lacey — that just can’t happen.”

Was she referring to William Flowers’s husband, Jim Evans? Hair Balls asked.

“Well, he doesn’t have a husband in Texas, dear,” Broussard said.

As mentioned above, the couple plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.


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Image captured from the ABC video under fair use terms, no infringement intended.

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6:02AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Well, if the ex-wife gives her consent, then there's no problem, is there?

I think the comment "he can’t leave his kids with his husband unless his ex-wife allows it, and given the bad feeling there this seems unlikely" is uncalled for and clearly the author's opinion -- the way I see it, authors' opinions are a big no-no in journalism, which is supposed to just give us the facts on any matter.

And where's the mother's side of the story? What does she have to say about the assault charges? What was the rationale behind the judge's order? And is it REALLY that irrational, after all?

I just think this article is incomplete and only sees one side of the story.

8:08AM PDT on Oct 15, 2011

Wow! What sort of bigotry is this?!

12:54AM PDT on Sep 26, 2011

This is one of those "WTF?" moments...

6:55PM PDT on Sep 24, 2011

So no male babysitters either huh? just plain stupid, bitterness shows it's ugly head

9:08AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

The Talibanis of USA strikes again!

8:07PM PDT on Sep 19, 2011

Judge Charley Prince is an idiot. By barring a father from leaving his children alone with his same sex husband, he's giving people the impression that homosexuals are perverted. What a Charley!

5:01PM PDT on Sep 19, 2011

Beth M.

4:26PM PDT on Sep 19, 2011

Are the children allowed to be alone with a male priest?

Not unless he's a relative. Of course, the order doesn't specify gender, simply the lack of genetic or adoptive relationship.

4:26PM PDT on Sep 19, 2011

Are the children allowed to be alone with a male priest?

9:17AM PDT on Sep 19, 2011

It seems as though Lacey should get to know Jim and family. She can disagree with her ex husband's lifestyle, but she owes it to her kids to make this right so her kids can feel secure in the love of both parents.

On the other hand, if justice miscarried, and the ex really is a bit violent....maybe this is her way of keeping the kids away from him even though the courts never found her ex guilty of violence.
Most fathers do want to spend time that precious bit of time with their kids, but I know one who didn't....

11:53PM PDT on Sep 18, 2011

10:45PM PDT on Sep 18, 2011
The mother obviously cares nothing about her children's happiness or having them grow up with a father and a mother in their lives.

David A are you related to the judge, these traits usually follow family training.

No, I am demonstrating that I am capable of reading the English language. Nowhere has it been suggested that the mother is preventing the children from seeing their fathers. Once again, she is preventing Jim Evans from seeing them in their father's absense. This non-thinking heirarchical arrangement of critters first, gay rights second, women third, children alternately serving a sympathy points or else getting thrown under the bus in order to prop up one of the higher priority groups depending on which way the wind is blowing is getting very old. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET IT THROUGH PEOPLE'S THICK HEADS THAT WILLIAM FLOWERS IS NOT BEING DENIED TIME WITH HIS CHILDREN. JIM EVANS, WHO IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO THE CHILDREN IS BEING DENIED TIME WITH THEM. BILLY NEEDS TO GET HIS HEAD OUT OF THE PROCTOLOGIST'S TERRITORY, QUIT USING HIS CHILDREN AS POLITICAL FOOTBALLS, AND SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH THEM INSTEAD OF THROWING A TANTRUM BECAUSE HE CAN'T PALM THEM OFF ON EVANS. There are a lot of people here who either grew up with both parents or else have amazingly poor recollection.

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