A Houston judge has ordered a gay man
not to leave his children alone with his husband, the
William Flowers and Jim Evans married
last year in Connecticut, one of six states where such unions are
Flowers sought custody of his three
children from a previous marriage to a woman that ended in 2004.
A jury decided that the woman should
keep the kids and his visitations would continue. Neither party
alleged the children had been or would be in danger of being abused.
Harris County Associate Judge Charley
E. Prine, Jr. ruled after the trial that Flowers was not permitted to
leave his children alone with any male to whom the children are not
related by “blood or adoption,” effectively cutting out Flowers'
husband Jim Evans.
Judge Prine declined to comment on his
ruling, but lawyers told the paper that it appeared as if Prine felt
it necessary to protect the children from gay men.
“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,” the paper
wrote. “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 along 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.”
Flowers has said he will appeal the