Ellis County Observer publisher Joey Dauben finally gets a court-appointed attorney

Joey Dauben

Joey Dauben, the publisher of the now-defunct Ellis County Observer, finally got to see a court-appointed lawyer this week to help him fight the three felony counts of child sexual abuse that have kept him in the Navarro County Jail without legal advice for almost two months now.

Edward Jendrzey, whose office is in Waxahachie in Ellis County, received the court-ordered appointment Thursday, Feb. 16. Jendrzey accepted the case after Steve Keathley, a Corsicana attorney whose wife is the president of the Navarro County Bar Association, declined an appointment by District Court Judge James Lagomarsino to represent the journalist.

In a telephone interview today, Jendrzey said, “Yes, he knows I’m representing him,” when asked whether he had met with his new client, who reached out for help from the media this week in a handwritten letter from jail. When a defendant declares himself to be indigent and asks for a court-appointed attorney, that is supposed to occur within 72 hours. In the letter, Dauben also again claimed he is innocent of the charges.

Jendrzey said his first step in Dauben’s representation will be to conduct an independent investigation of the case to learn the circumstances and to attempt to get Dauben’s $200,000 bond set by Lagomarsino lowered. “I’ll be meeting with the prosecutor about that,” Jendrzey said. Dauben’s family and friends have been unable to raise the 10 percent (or $20,000) payment bond agencies typically charge to get a defendant released from jail.

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Al Franken asks public for help passing Student Non-Discrimination Act

Sen. Al Franken

Sen. Al Franken

Sen. Al Franken, D – Minnesota, is asking the public for help passing S. 555, The Student Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would prohibit discrimination against public school students on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Under the provisions of S. 555 students who experienced discrimination because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or because of their association with LGBT people could bring a civil suit against the school officials or districts responsible for the discrimination. The bill currently has 34 co-sponsors (none from Texas) and its House companion (H.R. 998 by Rep. Jared Polis, D – Colorado) has 150 (with 7 Texan co-sponsors including Houston’s own Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green) . Both bills have been referred to committee but neither has received a hearing, a crucial step towards becoming law.

In the video requesting the public call their Senators (after the break) Franken points out that federal law already provides protection for school children harassed because of race, color, sex, religion, disability, and national origin, but that no protection exists for sexual orientation or gender identity.

The inclusion of “association” in S. 555 is particularly well thought out. According to the Williams Institute nearly 1 in 5 same-sex couples in the United States is raising children, in Harris County 18% of same-sex couples are.  As these children enter school it’s important that they be able to receive an education without harassment or bullying due to who their parents are.

Franken is asking people to call the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121 and encourage their Senator’s to support the bill.

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Family Research Council asks for money instead of answering charges of unethical behavior

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

The Family Research Council has yet to give a "detailed response" to charges lodged by the Southern Poverty Law Center that it spreads untrue propaganda about the lgbt community by means of either junk science or distorted science.

However, the group did take time out of its day to send out the following email requesting money. I took the liberty of zeroing in on the most pertinent part:

As you may have heard, the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently declared Family Research Council and a few of our allies as "hate groups."

How do you feel about you and FRC being lumped in with neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, racist skinheads, and other radical organizations?

I am outraged. But more than that, I am concerned. Never before has FRC been slapped with such a false and malicious accusation by an organization claiming to be mainstream.

Thankfully, we have hundreds of good friends who have stepped forward to denounce the SPLC in the strongest possible terms and to declare their support of FRC. The list includes national leaders who signed a Statement of Support.

Now I urge you to show you won't be intimidated into silence. Please follow this link to take your place alongside these leaders and others in defense of FRC by making a tax-deductible donation to support our work.

The SPLC is pressuring major news networks, magazines, newspapers, and online news and opinion outlets to not invite us on their programs, run our opinion pieces, or quote our views. It even hosted an event aimed solely at smearing FRC.

Astonishing, isn't it?

The SPLC is now attacking FRC and other groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

By labeling its opponents "hate groups," the SPLC is saying: No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate!

As usual FRC is playing the victim while evading the true story. SPLC said the following about FRC and several other so-called pro-family groups:

. . . a hard core of smaller groups, most of them religiously motivated, have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities. These groups’ influence reaches far beyond what their size would suggest, because the “facts” they disseminate about homosexuality are often amplified by certain politicians, other groups and even news organizations. . . Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.

The falsehoods in question include the beliefs that:

  • Homosexuals molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals,
  • Same-sex parents harm children, and
  • Homosexuals don’t live nearly as long as heterosexuals.

For its part, SPLC has listed detailed reasons as to the inaccuracies of these claims.

 

FRC, on the hand, has yet to fully answer SPLC's charges even though it said two months ago that it would give a "detailed response."

FRC's entire campaign  of  "they are trying to silence us" has been a clever dodge, or a non-sequitir which only serves to cover up that SPLC is in fact pushing for the debate while FRC is avoiding it.

Conveniently absent from FRC’s email – and its other statements – is suitable refutation to SPLC’s charges or any type of refutation at all.

At the times in which FRC did try to address the charges head on, such as when FRC head Tony Perkins went on the news program Hardball or when an FRC employee recommended a piece written by Perkins,  the organization was called out for engaging in exactly the same tactics SPLC accused them of – distorting science to denigrate the lgbt community.

No one wants to silence FRC.

Not SPLC, nor do I, nor does any other person who sent emails to the organization asking for the "detailed response" to SPLC's charges, which FRC promised to give.

All we want are answers. And we have yet to receive those answers.

In the long run, FRC's plea for donations may be successful in terms of monetary benefits.

But what about personal integrity?

If the FRC considers itself a Christian organization, then it needs to act like one.

And somehow I don't think that spreading untrue stories about the lgbt community and then playing the evasion game when called out on this behavior is a Christian virtue.

Stating that you are a moral, Christian group doesn't necessarily make you one. Especially when your actions have been most un-Christian.

Related posts:

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council just can't stop engaging in duplicitious tacticsPay attention to this post. In an interview last week, FRC spokesperson Peter Sprigg criticized studies looking at same-sex households in part because the studies in question doesn't compare same-sex households to heterosexual households. However Sprigg's objection is ironic seeing that he freely cites studies that don't compare the two dynamics when he denigrates heterosexual households.

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins pushes George Rekers flavored falsehoods on Hardball

Write Chris Matthews and Hardball to complain about Tony Perkins's lies

SUCCESS! Chris Matthews addresses distortion of Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council

Peter Sprigg won't address hate group charges but will lie about same-sex households

Family Research Council has yet to come out with 'detailed response' against SPLC charges

Will the Family Research Council ever fulfill its promise and address SPLC's charges?
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

Blade’s Chris Johnson asks Gibbs if Obama has actually backtracked on marriage

In 1996, State Senate candidate Barack Obama indicated his support for same-sex marriage, stating “I support legalizing same-sex marriagem and would fight efforts to prohibit those marriages.” See for yourself: The Windy City Times has the actual documents.

As we know, in 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama said he opposed same-sex marriage, but supported civil unions. At a forum with Rick Warren in August of 2008, Obama actually said “God is in the mix.”

Of late, to both Kerry Eleveld and me, President Obama indicated that, now, he’s evolving on marriage. But, did he devolve before he’s evolving?

Today, the Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson asked Robert Gibbs about Obama’s 1996 position on marriage. Needless to say, Gibbs deflected the question. Here’s the video:

The reelection campaign won’t be able to deflect this issue. The President has to get back to his 1996 position, sooner rather than later.




AMERICAblog Gay

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Administration Asks Court to Delay DADT Challenge

Last week, the Justice Department filed a motion with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals asking it to delay the briefing schedule in Log Cabin Republicans v. Gates, the lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). The Justice Department requested that the briefing schedule for the case be suspended following the legislative action to repeal DADT in December and pending implementation of the repeal of DADT by the Defense Department.  Notably, the Justice Department’s motion pledges to provide the Ninth Circuit with a status update on the implementation process within 90 days.

Final repeal of DADT occurs after the President, Defense Secretary and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that policies have been written to implement repeal and compliance with these polices is consistent with military readiness.  Once this happens, the law will be stricken from the United States Code following a 60-day waiting period.  The Justice Department’s request asks the Ninth Circuit to put the Log Cabin Republican case on hold during this period.

Based on the current briefing schedule in Log Cabin Republicans v. Gates, the Justice Department must file their brief defending the constitutionality of DADT by January 24th.  Lawyers for Log Cabin Republicans say they plan to oppose the Justice Department’s request for a delayed briefing schedule.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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Cenk Uygur Asks GOProud’s Christopher Barron Why He’s a Republican: ‘They Don’t Even Like Who You Are’

Uygur_barron

MSNBC's Cenk Uygur talks to GOProud's Christopher Barron about the conservative exodus from CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) over GOProud's participation. 

Asks Uygur: "How can you with good conscience vote for a party that does not like you? They don't like who you are. They don't like your identity."

Claims Barron: "The conservative movement is absolutely welcoming to gay people….I have an easier time being openly gay with conservatives than I do being a conservative with gay people."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP



Towleroad News #gay

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WND on DADT: Officer asks to be relieved of command over repeal

“I did not give up my constitutional rights and freedom of religion when I joined the military. I don’t believe in subjecting myself to all of the behavior modification and sensitivity training. They’re going to try to push the position that this is an acceptable lifestyle.”

– an unnamed Army lieutenant colonel, who, according to WND, has “asked to be relieved of command rather than order his troops to go through pro-homosexual indoctrination.”

Alvin posted earlier about the “butt sex” obsession of the documented hate organization American Family Association when it comes to DADT repeal. You can add WorldNetDaily to that list, under the headline “The gaying of America.”

Currently the commander of a battalion-sized unit in the Army National Guard, the officer also has threatened to resign his commission rather than undergo “behavior modification” training intended to counter his religious convictions about homosexuality.

The soldier sent the following letter to his commanding officer:

Subject: Request for Relief from Command due to Personal Moral Conflict with New Homosexual Policy

1. I respectfully request to be relieved of Command of XXX Squadron, XXX Cavalry prior to new policy implementation subsequent to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” My personal religious beliefs and moral convictions do not permit me to treat homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, compatible with military service, any more than adultery, illicit drug use, or criminal activity. I believe this lifestyle runs counter to good order and discipline in military units, and I refuse to sacrifice my belief system, protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, in order to fall in line with the command policy that will logically follow. This new policy will undoubtedly include mandatory sensitivity training as well as same-sex partner inclusion in Family Readiness Group activities and integration into the full spectrum of other military benefits, as well as a whole new category of discrimination standards and investigative procedures. I will not, as a commander, put my signature on a training schedule or other document recognizing or legitimizing any of these things that contradict my personal beliefs.

2. I would like to remain in the XXX Army National Guard until I am eligible for retirement (at 20 years and 0 days), which would be in the late summer of 2012, but on grounds of my religious beliefs, I will not attend sensitivity or behavior modification training consequential to this policy change, even if it means disciplinary action. I regret that I cannot continue to serve in the military further, but feel that my efforts would be insincere because my heart will no longer be in it.”

 
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Wherein Davey Wavey Asks Santa To Reverse His Childhood Mutilation

What does David Jacques (known to the world as Davey Wavey) want for Christmas this year? His foreskin! Warning: This video is less a holiday wish list than it is a war on circumcision. So what can Davey do now that he's without a sheath? Well Santa could bring him one of these devices, though they're more of a stocking stuffer than an under-the-tree present.


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Queerty

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In wake of tax cut compromise, Howard Dean asks ‘what about DADT?’

Good point from Howard Dean in the last graf of this excerpt, below. What about DADT? Why wasn’t it included int his tax cut deal? The GOP got their top priority, why didn’t we include more of our priorities in this deal? I think it’s going to be very difficult to get anything else passed in the Senate, now that the GOP has already been given what they want. Once you trade away your biggest chit, you’re kind of SOL.

Sam Stein at Huff Post:

Obama’s decision to craft a deal with Republicans on the Bush tax cuts … has created deep reservoirs of distrust with the president’s ability to handle high-stakes negotiations and has compelled even former staffers to level blunt criticisms about the White House’s politics. “I think the president made a huge mistake in supporting any extension of tax cuts,” said Steve Hildebrand, the deputy national director of Obama’s presidential campaign and a strategist who has long grown sour on Washington. “We can’t afford it as a country, and we should recognize that. We need his leadership and bipartisan congressional leadership on it. And the whole idea of negotiating with Republicans who won’t negotiate in good faith, it is not the direction the president should be taking.” [...]

“We clearly have to deal with the deficit; it is probably the biggest problem facing the country,” said former DNC header Howard Dean. “But you can’t deal with the deficit from a political point of view if you say to Democrats, we are going to cut Social Security and Medicare and, by the way, give tax cuts to those who make a million dollars a year.”

Antipathy, however, was saved as much for the process of securing the final tax cut package as for the substance of the package itself. Suggesting that the deal could die in the House, Dean echoed a question other Democrats offered in the hours after Obama’s announcement: Was enough secured in return?

“I’m not so sure you can get the House to agree to this in conference committee,” he said. “And what about the president’s other priorities: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, START, DREAM Act? I mean, do we not get anything for the 0 billion?”




AMERICAblog Gay

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NYT asks how DOJ can still argue ‘with a straight face’ that Congress will end DADT

Like many of us, the NY Times Editorial Board seems skeptical that Congress will end DADT this year (despite repeated promises by the President and Congressional leaders.) Today’s editorial castigates the arguments made by the Obama administration in its recent filing with the U.S. Supreme Court. The Times wonders why DOJ keeps arguing that Congress will end DADT — when that possibility seems more remote by the day:

The Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to allow the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to remain in effect is a victory for theory over reality and a defeat for America’s system of checks and balances.

It also underscores the bravery and competence of Virginia Phillips, the federal judge who mustered logic and persuasive evidence in September when she struck down the statute enacting the policy. She did the same in October when she issued a ban on its enforcement.

The Supreme Court’s order included no explanation, so it’s sensible to look for that in the Justice Department filing that urged the court to rule as it did. Repeatedly, it mentioned repeal of the law by Congress and the process under way in the executive branch laying the groundwork for that. It said the wrong way to overturn the law is by “judicial invalidation” and the right way is by “repeal of an act of Congress by Congress itself.”

Sometimes the courts have to act when Congress lacks the sense or the courage to do so. The Senate could have joined the House in repealing the antigay law in September. It did not. Given the sharp rightward turn of Congress in the elections, how can the Justice Department now make that argument with a straight face?

Good question.

The President and the Senate are both lacking sense and courage on DADT. We keep waiting for signs of a strategy or a plan from someone. Nothing. Time is running out.




AMERICAblog Gay

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