A Houston judge has barred a gay man from leaving his children at home with his husband. Associate judge Charely E. Prine Jr. of Harris County issued the order in June, but the case has gotten continue coverage from Houston Chronicle blogger Geoff Berg.
In the column, published Monday, Berg notes that Prine’s directive prevents William Flowers from leaving his children alone with any man not related to them by blood or adoption — including his husband, Jim Evans, whom he married last year in Connecticut.
Prine's order came after Flowers sued for custody of his three children he had with his former wife. The couple divorce in 2004 with both sides agreeing that she should have custody. Flowers changed his mind and went to court, but a jury ruled that his wife should keep custody and he should continue his regular visitation. Afterwards Prine issued the order, which Flowers plans to appeal.
Family law attorneys, who requested anonymity, have called the ruling "patently anti-gay." One Austin attorney, Jennifer Cochran, was willing to go on record and said the judge's decision is "just not reasonable” and “strikes at the very heart of the fact that [Flowers is] gay ... it’s judicial activism, legislating from the bench.”
Perhaps, as Berg speculates, the judge bought into age-old stereotypes and feared the children would be molested or transformed into dragalicious snap queens against their will? Whatever the faulty reasoning may be, the case is still pending and Judge Prine has declined to comment.