Earlier today we reported that Jonathan Saenz of the anti-gay group Texas Values put together a press conference last week to attack gay rights as a push to snuff out freedom and imprison pastors. In fact, Saenz has been one of the most vocal opponents of LGBT rights laws, alleging that they “terrorize women and children” and pave the way for Christian concentration camps.
It seems the fight for Saenz is quite personal, especially since his ex-wife reportedly left him for another woman, and Saenz unsuccessfully attempted to stop her partner from being in the presence of their children, according to an article from Lone Star Q:
Court records indicate that Saenz’s ex-wife, Corrine Morris Rodriguez Saenz, is a member of the LGBT community who was dating another woman when she filed for divorce from Saenz in August 2011.
In early 2012, with their divorce still pending, Saenz would take the helm of Texas Values after the organization spun off from the Liberty Legal Institute, where he’d risen to chief lobbyist.
With Saenz as president, Texas Values has led the charge against not only same-sex marriage, but also passage of LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in San Antonio and Houston. In fighting the ordinances, Saenz has often repeated the debunked right-wing myth that sexual predators would use the laws to prey on women and children in bathrooms.
During their divorce, Jonathan Saenz unsuccessfully sought to permanently bar Corrine Saenz’s girlfriend from being in the presence of the children, records show. At one point, he also sought to jail his ex-wife for failing to undergo an evaluation by a psychologist of his choosing—even though he refused to pay the psychologist’s $2,500 fee.
Both Corrine and Jonathan Saenz agreed to psychological evaluations as part of the divorce, but results aren’t included in the case file. However, court records suggest Jonathan Saenz had a prior history of mental health treatment. During discovery in the divorce, Jonathan Saenz sought to compel his ex-wife to produce all records in her possession “pertaining to the psychiatric, psychological, counseling or other mental health treatments of Jonathan Saenz, including but not limited to any documents relating to any consultations or treatments during their marriage.”
In her original petition for divorce, Corrine Saenz alleged their marriage was “insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities … that destroys the legitimate ends of marriage and prevents reasonable expectations of reconciliation.” In his initial response, Jonathan Saenz denied that claim and asked the court to refuse to grant the divorce on those grounds.
Jonathan Saenz also sought an order barring Corrine Saenz from allowing “any unrelated adult, with whom the parent has an intimate, romantic, emotional, and/or dating relationship to remain in the presence of the children, including but not limited to Ercimin Paredes, a/k/a Ercilia M. Paredes.”
Paredes was Corrine Saenz’s girlfriend, court records indicate, and they both taught at Becker Elementary School in the Austin Independent School District.
According to court records, Jonathan Saenz alleged that Corrine Saenz was “deeply involved in her relationship with Ms. Paredes as early as the fall of 2010.”
In a counterpetition for divorce dated May 7, 2013, Jonathan Saenz accused Corrine Saenz of adultery and sought a permanent order barring Paredes from being in the presence of the children.
But Jonathan Saenz was unsuccessful, and there is no mention of Paredes in the Agreed Final Decree of Divorce, which was hammered out through mediation.