Marriage Equality USA

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Lawsuits - Resolved

Alicia Butler & Judith Chedville vs. Texas

Case #:
Date Filed: 13 September 2013
Ruling Date: 27 November 2013


  • On 9 September 2013, 16 TX state representatives told the TX Military Forces to: (1) stop denying equal pay and benefits to all same-gender married military couples at all TX National Guard facilities, (2) stop denying membership in family readiness groups, and (3) stop denying participation in marriage enrichment retreats.
  • In September, after the DOD had issued guidelines on extending benefits to the same-sex spouses of military members, Butler and Chedville went to Camp Mabry in Austin to attempt to register in the federal Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Chedville is an Army nurse and Iraq war veteran, and a 1st Lieutenant in the Army National Guard. Even after presenting a valid marriage license, Butler and Chedville were denied access to the registration process at Camp Mabry, and were told they would instead have to travel to a federal facility, the closest one requiring a three-hour trip.
  • 13 September 2013, in Alicia Butler & Judith Chedville vs. Texas, Lambda Legal told the TX Military Forces that since 3 September 2013 it has been unlawful to deny equal federal pay and benefits to any same-gender married military couple, and the TX ban on same-gender civil marriage does not exempt TX from compliance.
  • 31 October 2013, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel directed Army National Guard units nationwide to process benefit applications for all personnel with same-gender spouses, regardless of local marriage laws, especially at the 114 bases in 9 states: FL, GA, IN, LA, MS, OK, SC, TX, and WV.
  • 27 November 2013, after increasing pressure to follow U.S. Department of Defense guidelines, the Texas Military Forces allowed Lambda Legal's client, Alicia Butler, the wife of 1st Lt. Judith Chedville, to register for federal military benefits at Camp Mabry.
Domenico Nuckols vs. TX Governor Rick Perry, et al.

Case #:
Date Filed: 1 July 2013
Ruling Date: Withdrawn 17 July 2013


  • 1 July 2013, Domenico Nuckols of Galveston filed a federal lawsuit challenging the TX constitution’s ban on same-gender marriage. (His foreign national partner had been deported in 1986.)
  • 17 July 2013, after hearing from the ACLU and from Lambda Legal, Nuckols withdrew his suit. (See Nuckols v. Perry under Pending Lawsuits.)
William Adam Flowers v. Lacey Flowers

Case #:
Date Filed:
Ruling Date: 24 June 2011


  • William and Lacey Flowers divorced in 2004, and they agreed that their three children should stay with her.
  • William Flowers later changed his mind and sued for custody; a jury ruled that custody should remain with Lacey, but William could continue his regular visits.
  • In March 2011 William Flowers and Jim Evans were married in Connecticut.
  • After William married Jim, he sought to change the custody agreement.
  • In the custody proceedings, there were no allegations of abuse either physically or emotionally from the children’s father or his husband.
  • 24 June 2011, Judge Charley E. Prine, Jr. issued a ruling which included an injunction applicable only to William. It prohibited 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 wanted to visit his mother in the hospital, he couldn’t leave his kids at home with his husband. As written, the injunction also prohibited male doctors, teachers and pastors from being alone with the children. (This ruling was despite the fact that Jim Evans also had his own biological children from a previous marriage; children he was responsible for caring for. Nobody seemed to have a problem with that.)
  • Because there was no allegation of abuse in the case, family law practitioners said the order was an unheard of infringement on the rights of parents and a judicial condemnation of the fact that William Flowers is not only gay but married to his partner, Jim Evans.
  • In October 2011, William Flowers appealed the decision. Oral arguments were heard in November 2012.
  • 23 July 2013 the Fourteenth Court of Appeals overturned the trial court's 2011 ruling.
Carolyn Compton v. Joshua Compton

Case #:
Date Filed: September 2010
Ruling Date: 7 May 2013


  • Carolyn Compton was married to Joshua Compton for 11 years. Carolyn filed for divorce in September 2010.
  • December 2010, she applied for a protective order, citing her estranged husband’s “sporadic and threatening behavior.”
  • The couple divorced and Carolyn was given custody of the couple’s two children.
  • Carolyn became partners with Page Price, with whom she and the children shared a home for 3 years.
  • In April 2011, the divorce case was re-opened. Joshua Compton reportedly went to court to enforce the morality clause after hiring a private investigator to spy on his ex-wife. He unsuccessfully sought to have Carolyn jailed for violating the morality clause by living with her lesbian partner.
  • The morality clause says Compton cannot have anyone in her home between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. if it is “an intimate dating relationship” but they are not married. However, under Texas law, Compton cannot marry Price.
  • 7 May 2013, Republican Collin County Judge John Roach Jr. issued an order giving Price 30 days to move out.
  • Attorneys for Compton and Price issued a statement saying the couple planned to comply with the order even though it is an unconstitutional violation of their right to privacy under case law including Lawrence v. Texas.