Texas Judge Rules Gay Father Cannot Leave Children With His Husband

Harris County judge Charley Prine, a Republican judge in Texas, is under fire for a clearly homophobic order barring a gay father from leaving his children alone with his husband. William Flowers (pictured, left below) and Jim Evans (right) were legally married in Connecticut and are appealing the order that says that the children cannot be left alone with with any man who is not related to them by blood or adoption unless his ex-wife consents.

William divorced Lacey Flowers in 2004, and they agreed that their three children should stay with her. When William Flowers later changed his mind and sued for custody, the case went to a jury which ruled in favor of the mother while allowing the father regular visits. That clearly did not sit well with Prine who issued the order. Such restraints are used in cases where there is evidence of child abuse or danger. Prine appears to view a gay couple as presumptively dangerous to children.

Ironically, if Prine wanted to trigger a fight over same-sex marriage, he could have simply added a “morality clause” to the ruling prohibiting the presence in the household of people with whom the parent is having a “dating or intimate relationship” or those to whom the parent is not related “by blood or marriage.” Since Texas does not recognize same-sex marriage, this would have triggered a fight over the application of the full faith and credit clause. I have always been somewhat skeptical of the use of the full faith and credit clause to force the recognition of same-sex marriage on states like Texas. There has long been a debate over a public policy exception under the clause.

Under either the current order or a morality clause, there remains a variety of questions from equal protection to privacy to full faith and credit which would have to be litigated. It could prove to be a significant case as the courts slowly deal with the continuing prejudicial treatment of gay and lesbian couples.

Prine lists his support for Rick Perry and Republican candidates on his Facebook and other sites. He is a graduate of South Texas Law School.

Source: Chronicle and Online

27 thoughts on “Texas Judge Rules Gay Father Cannot Leave Children With His Husband”

  1. @wr19702005

    Douchebag lawyers believe the earth revolves around them, hence why lawyer dick fights that try to establish the pole are so important.

  2. Sadly, the focus of the issue here has changed, at least in the comments, from the inequity of the judge’s decision based on the fathers’ sexual orientation to what law school the presiding judge attended and how it ranks!

  3. “Southern Texas Law is not a religious law school like Regent.”

    Never said it was.

    “[N]o doubt on an equal level to Regent in the intellectual quality of its graduates.”

    My point exactly!

    The religious law school in Texas is SMU — a fine law school!

  4. Robert Franklin at Fathers and Families discusses it here:

    http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/?p=18854

    Texas lawyers say they’ve never seen or heard of an order as broad and patently unenforceable as Prine’s.

    Attorneys who practice family law in Texas point out that in cases of abuse, it is common for courts to prevent children from being alone with specific people. But those same lawyers say that they’ve never heard of a case in which a step-parent or long-term partner is permanently enjoined from being alone with his or her step-children when abuse is not even alleged, let alone proven. No lawyer consulted for this story has ever heard of an order which prohibits children from being left alone with an entire gender.

  5. If the person worked hard and made law review, he or she could do very well is South Texas. The degree is not so portable.

  6. SwM – and yet his JD/LLD looks exactly the same on the ol resume as one from UT.
    Too bad they don’t have to take some sort of test to make sure they understand the law.

  7. It is 4th tier law school, Mike. University of Texas is the only top 14 law school in Texas.

  8. “He is a graduate of South Texas Law School”

    A fine institution renowned for its scholastic achievements, not religious as SwM informs, but no doubt on an equal level to Regent in the intellectual quality of its graduates.

  9. Oh….My….Homophobia abounds….

    But this is not nearly as lethal as what happened in Monroe, MI….

    Local attorney and two sons injured in car bombing; investigators release chilling 911 recordings
    $10,000 reward offered in the case

    MONROE, Mich. (WXYZ) – A father can be heard on a 911 call recording telling a dispatcher his car has exploded and his sons are severely injured.
    The call from Erik Chappell was made seconds after a bomb exploded in his car as he was taking his young sons to football practice.
    Listen to his call in the video player on the left
    Investigators are trying to figure out if this was a bomb with a timer, or if someone had to detonate the device that exploded inside Chappell’s car.

    http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/monroe_county/federal-agents,-police-and-sheriff's-deputies-at-scene-of-explosion

  10. “South Texas Law School” . . . the Texas version (in quality) of Regent University Law School

  11. What continually astounds me is the number of judges who are not capable of seeing the irrationality in the their own thinking. Isn’t the whole point in being a judge training yourself to such pitfalls?

  12. Since Judge Prine’s order was most likely a religious and political reaction, I seriously doubt that he gave consideration to crafting a ruling with an arguable legal basis. What is even more disturbing, however, is that we continue to churn out law school graduates who regard the judiciary as merely another arrow in the political quiver.

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