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Custody dispute ruling forces same-sex partner to move out

There are many roadblocks obstructing the married lives of same-sex couples across the country. Many in Columbus, Ohio, understand this and pay attention to the news reports involving complex family situations that contain same-sex issues. For instance, a recent ruling in Texas may cause a same-sex couple to break up, all because of a custody agreement and something called a "morality clause."

The morality clause has made it illegal for a divorced mother to have anyone she is dating or intimate with at her home when her two children are there after 9 p.m. The issue here is that her new same-sex partner has moved in and was ordered to move out on May 7. She was given 30 days to do so. If the two were related by marriage, then she could stay in the home when the children were there. An attorney for the couple said the women will comply with the order, but they believe it could be detrimental to the kids. Their attorney thinks it is an unconstitutional ruling, not because it targets same-sex parents specifically, but because it targets all parents and limits their decision-making capabilities.

The father of the children involved in this case had the divorce reopened to debate about custody of the children once more. According to his attorney, the man's intentions were to make sure both parties were complying with their 2011 divorce agreement. The morality clause was enforced because of this and, according to reports, the father was abiding by this rule. His attorney noted the fact that his ex-wife is involved with a woman was not a defining factor for the father's decision to dispute custody.

According to reports, this case is similar to one that occurred in 2011, except that the male same-sex partners were married. Since Texas does not recognize same-sex marriage, the morality clause was upheld.

Source:  Huffington Post, "Lesbian Parents Say Texas Judge's 'Morality Clause' Ruling Will Force Them Apart" Meredith Bennett-Smith, May. 21, 2013

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