R.I.P., Judge John Paul Barnich, aka 'Jumbo'

Posted on 04 Feb 2009 at 3:57pm

John Paul Barnich of Houston, the first openly gay man to become a city court judge in Texas, died Monday from diabetes. Barnich was a former board chairman of Houston AIDS Foundation Inc. His partner died from AIDS in 1994. Read Barnich’s full obituary in The Houston Chronicle here.

“It’s very, very personal to me,” Barnich told the author of a study of the disease’s impact on American life. “I tend to react to people who discriminate against people based on their HIV status like a wounded mother grizzly protecting her cubs. … I see my job as making it as costly as possible for them.”

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