Out of Houston last week, this news of judicially-sanctioned crazy on a bench: William Flowers divorced his wife, with whom he had three kids, then married a dude, Jim. Flowers’ ex-wife keeps main custody of the kids, while Flowers has visitation rights and everyone agrees there’s no abuse or anything weird going on. But after the custody trial:
Harris County Associate Judge Charley E. Prine, Jr.issued a ruling which included an injunction applicable only to William. It prohibits him from leaving his children alone with any male to whom the kids are not related by “blood or adoption.” So if, for example, William wants to visit his mother in the hospital (where she’s been for several weeks), he can’t leave his kids at home with his husband. As written, the injunction also prohibits male doctors, teachers and pastors from being alone with the children.
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.
Since no one has brought forward evidence or even suspicion of abuse here, it seems clear that Judge Prine believes that Flowers’ husband can’t be trusted around the kids because he’s gay–it’s a common enough homophobic belief that gay men are all pedophiles and sexual deviants, and/or that all gay people are on a big gay recruiting mission to force kids into homosexuality.
The injunction applies only to Flowers. Which means: Flowers’ ex-wife is free to leave the kids alone with literally anyone, man or woman, in the world, but Flowers is not. If he’s not a nutty homophobic bigot, Judge Prine is at least deciding, seemingly at random, that some people don’t have the right to leave their kids with a male doctor, pastor, babysitter, whoever, and some people do. I’ll take nutty homophobic bigot for $1000.