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A judge has ruled that a Texas lesbian couple can’t cohabitate, or live together, because of a morality clause in one of the women’s divorce papers.

Such a clause is common in divorce cases in Texas and other states.

It is designed as an actual legal means of preventing a divorced parent from having a romantic partner spend the night while children are in the home.

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If a couple marries, they can get out from under the legal provision, but that’s not an option for gay couples in Texas, where gay marriage is not legal.

In the divorce of Carolyn and Joshua Compton, Collin County District Judge John Roach Jr. enforced the terms detailed in their 2011 divorce papers.


He ordered Carolyn Compton’s current, female partner, Page Price, to move out of the home they shared with the Comptons’ daughters, ages 10 and 13.

Paul Key said his client, Joshua Compton, wanted the clause, which he calls gender-neutral, enforced as “a provision for the benefit of the children.”

“The fact that they can’t get married in Texas is a legislative issue,” the attorney said of the same-sex marriage question. “It’s not really our issue.”

The Comptons had been married for 11 years before their split. Price and Carolyn Compton said in response that the morality clause is unconstitutional.

They called it “a burden on parents, regardless of their sexual orientation, that takes away and unreasonably limits their ability to make parental decisions.”

The partners claim the law “unreasonably limits what the United State Supreme Court has identified as the liberty of thought, belief and expression.”

They are considering whether to file an appeal.

In the meantime, they will comply with the order “even though it will be disruptive to their family and has the potential of being harmful to the children.”

Who do you think is in the right here? Discuss.