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Texas judge orders lesbian partner to move out

A judge recently ruled that a couple could not cohabitate together due to a violation of the morality clause in a woman's divorce decree. The case involved a same-sex couple in a state where gay marriage is not recognized. Same-sex couples in California may face similar difficulties, depending on the resolution of the Proposition 8 litigation that is currently in front of the Supreme Court.

The Texas case involved a woman, her ex-husband and her lesbian partner. The woman and her husband divorced in 2010. As is customary with many Texas divorces, a morality clause was put into the divorce decree. This type of clause is inserted in divorce cases to deter unmarried parents from having a romantic partner stay overnight or live with the parent when their children are in the home. The ex-husband has a history of stalking-like behavior in relation to his ex-wife. He pleaded guilty to trespassing on her property and for installing an unauthorized tracking device. The woman said that the ex-husband backed the enforcement of the morality clause by hiring a private investigator that would provide evidence to kick the woman's lesbian partner out of the home that they shared with the woman's 10 and 13-year-old daughters.

The judge ruled to enforce the morality clause and ordered the woman's partner to remove herself from the family home. The couple says that they feel that they have been discriminated against due to their sexual orientation. While heterosexual couples can maneuver around a clause of this nature through marriage, Texas does not provide this same right to gay couples. They believe that they are being punished by the court for being gay.

Same-sex partners struggle with having their unions recognized. California family law attorneys may be able to help gay couples with custody issues.

Source: Sacramento Bee, "Texas judge: Lesbian couple can't cohabitate Read more here:", May 21, 2013

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