In a case causing rising controversy in the US, a judge has told a Texan man he cannot leave his children in the care of the man he married.

Inter-state tension continues as the marriage between William Flowers and Jim Evans fails to be properly recognised in the second-largest US state.

Flowers had been married to a woman previously and fathered three children with her before they divorced in 2004. At the time, it was agreed she would keep custody of the children.

Over six years on, in early 2011, Flowers married Jim Evans in Connecticut, and began proceedings to claim custody.

A jury decided Flowers’ ex-wife should remain in custody of the children, and that his visitation rights should continue in their prior form.

But the County Associate Judge, Charley E Prine, Jr, handed down a ruling which forbids Flowers from leaving the children alone with any man “not related by blood or adoption”, including his husband.

The Houston Chronicle asked family lawyers to comment on the injunction. One lawyer, Jennifer Cochran, told the paper the order “strikes at the very heart of the fact that he’s gay … it’s judicial activism, legislating from the bench”.

Flowers intends to appeal against the order.