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Lesbian couple can't cohabitate: Why not?

A lesbian couple can't cohabitate, a Texas judge ruled, because one woman's divorce settlement bars overnight guests except spouses  — and the lesbian couple can't marry in Texas.


Plastic figurines depicting a female couple and a male couple are displayed for sale in Paris, France, April 27, shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized there. Gay marriage is still illegal in Texas, where a judge has ruled that a permanent clause in a woman's divorce settlement means she cannot live with her new partner.

Jacques Brinon / AP

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

The clause is common in divorce cases in Texas and other states. It prevents a divorced parent from having a romantic partner spend the night while children are in the home. If the couple marries, they can get out from under the legal provision — but that is not an option for gay couples in Texas, where such marriages aren't recognized.

The Dallas Morning News reported that in a divorce hearing last month for 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 partner, Page Price, to move out of the home they shared with the Comptons' two daughters, ages 10 and 13. The judge gave Price 30 days to find another place to live.


Paul Key said his client, Joshua Compton, wanted the clause enforced for his kids' benefit.


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