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.

—  admin

Perfect match

Bob Nunn and Tom Harrover have been a couple for 4 decades. But it wasn’t until a near tragedy that they realized they were truly meant for each other

LIFE GOES ON | Nunn, right, and Harrover stand before a project commissioned for the convention center hotel. Four years ago, Nunn was near death because of kidney disease. (Rich Lopez/Dallas Voice)

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Bob Nunn agrees with the adage that the longer a couple lives together, the more they begin to look alike. Nunn and his partner Tom Harrover might not look that similar on the outside, but they match in a way that few couples do.

Let’s start with some history.

The two have that classic meet-cute that began on the wrong note. As Nunn tells it, Harrover was the dullest person he’d ever met —the two just didn’t like each other. Then, following a spontaneous invitation to a midnight movie, they ended up hitting it off. That movie led to conversation and then dating.

Forty-two years later, they still watch movies — as Nunn puts it, “I couldn’t get rid of him.”

A job in Houston took Nunn away from Harrover for three months, but old-fashioned letter writing kept the newbie relationship afloat.

“Tom had been writing me letters. He’s a very good writer,” Bob boasts. “He basically proposed to me by letter.”

They committed to each other, moving in and pursuing their careers: Harrover in architecture and Nunn teaching art. For 37 years, they lived in “a fabulous house” in Hollywood Heights. Life was good.

Then their life took a sharp turn.

“When we got together, Tom knew I had a kidney disease,” Nunn says. “Nothing was really a problem until about 30 years after we met — my kidneys began to fail and I had to start dialysis.”

Nunn registered with Baylor for the national organ donor list, but the experience was frustrating:  They received little response or encouragement from the hospital.

“Bob was on a downhill slide and the frustration with Baylor seemed like they were stonewalling us,” Harrover says. “We talked about going to Asia even. It felt like they didn’t want to deal with a senior-age gay couple.”

A LITTLE DAB’LL DO YOU | Bob Nunn is officially retired from teaching art, but continues to paint.

Then Harrover suggested something novel: He could donate his kidney to the organ list, with the idea that Nunn could get a healthy one.  Sort of a kidney exchange.

In desperation, they went back to their physician, who enrolled them in St. Paul Hospital’s then-new program for kidney transplant. The experience was a complete turnaround. Nunn was tested and processed immediately while Harrover prepped for his organ donation to an anonymous recipient.

Kidney transplants require a seven-point match system; a minimum of three matches is necessary for the recipient to be able to accept the organ into the body.

The tests revealed that Harrover’s kidney matched Nunn’s on all seven points.

“We assumed I would donate mine for use elsewhere,” Harrover says. “It never occurred to me that we’d be a match. The odds for that are off the charts.”

“See what happens when you live together for so long?” he chuckles.

Just six months after entering St. Paul’s program in 2007, they were on the operating table. They were the first direct living donor pair in the program. “It was all fairly miraculous,” Nunn understates.

Four years later, both men are doing well. Although officially retired, they both continue to work: Harrover does the occasional contract job while Nunn is currently on commission for an art project at the new convention center hotel. Outside of any official work, each interjects their quips about home, life be it cooking together or working on the lawn.

The obvious question for them might be “What’s the secret?” But they don’t see it just that way. Their relationship boils down to the obvious virtues of trust, respect and compromise.

“Selfishness doesn’t rear its ugly head in this relationship,” Harrover says. “You just have to be willing to accommodate, support and encourage what the other is interested in.”

Nunn agrees. “I would not be doing what I’m doing without his support.”

Nunn says if there is a secret, it’s akin to the dynamic on a playground: Like each other and share. If you don’t share your whole life, there isn’t a relationship, he says. At this point, Harrover says it would be impossible to separate. On paper, they are so intertwined with their house and financials, he jokes they are “Siamese twins.”

They’ve witnessed a lot in their decades together, including something they never expected to come to pass in their lifetimes: Same-sex marriage. Coming from a time when just being gay conflicted with moral codes set by their jobs, they wonder over the progress made in recent years. (They were officially married in Boston in October 2009.)

“I’m confident that it will happen for everyone,” Harrover says. “I’m sorry that it’s moving at a glacial pace, but it has that same inevitability as a glacier. We’ll get there.”

But nothing compares to the bond Harrover and Nunn already have, a shared intimacy few couples could imagine. Same-sex marriage was merely unlikely; what they have experienced is miraculous.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

‘Five Women’ today at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas

No catfights over these outfits

Being a bridesmaid is a thankless job, as the ladies know in Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. The Alan Ball (American Beauty, True Blood) play shows irreverence toward the custom as the ladies hide away from their duties and begin to bond over their experience in lamé.

DEETS: Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, 5601 Sears St. 2 p.m. Through July 17. $27–$32. ContemporaryTheatreOfDallas.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Julian Bond: Maryland must end marriage discrimination

I love it when allies step forward to strongly support us. It’s doubly meaningful when that ally is a civil rights legend who knows that discrimination is discrimination; there is no barometer as to how much any minority group has to suffer to deserve basic human rights.

Julian Bond knows this; he has been a steadfast supporter of LGBT rights. In an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun, he makes the case as to why Maryland must end marriae discrimination. A snippet:

As a civil right activist, I have spent my life fighting to make ours a more just and fair society. That’s why I urge the Maryland General Assembly to support marriage equality and pass the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. I firmly believe that this is a matter of civil rights, equal protection and equality. Civil rights are positive legal prerogatives – the right to equal treatment before the law. These are rights shared by everyone; there is no one in the United States who does not – or should not – share in enjoying these rights. Discrimination is wrong no matter who the victim is. We cannot move toward full human rights protection and opportunity without confronting – and ending – homophobia. For it is homophobia that is at the root of denying the freedom to marry to gays and lesbians. As my late neighbor and friend, Coretta Scott King, said in 1998:

“Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.”

And in 2000 she added:

“We have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say ‘common struggle’ because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender or ethnic discrimination.”

And raising Coretta Scott King’s support for equality is so necessary. As we have seen, Bernice King, her daughter, has been out there using religion-based bigotry to hold an anti-equality position regarding civil marriage. And Julian Bond also drops Loving v. Virginia in there for good measure; those in favor of continuing marriage discrimination know they are on the losing side of the equality argument. You may make our lives miserable along the way, but you will ultimately lose.

Three years ago we celebrated the 40th anniversary of a case aptly called Loving v. Virginia, which struck down anti-miscegenation laws and, many years later, allowed my wife, Pam, and me to marry in the state that declares “Virginia is for lovers.” Then, as now, proponents of marriage-as-is invoked “God’s plan.” The trial judge who sentenced the Lovings said that when God created the races: “He placed them on separate continents. … The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

God seems to have made room in his plan for interracial marriage. He will no doubt do the same for same-sex marriage.

 
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

The Singer’s Name Is Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, And V Is Trans

"When I was younger I used to refer to myself as a 'non-op transexual,'" writes the singer-songwriter Justin Bond, "meaning I was a transexual who didn’t need to have surgery to assert what I was. But I was wrong because without assertions people can only make assumptions and I no longer wish to indulge or refute the assumptions or labels other people choose to place on me, I simply want to inhabit my very clear vision of myself." Which means Bond, in addition to beginning a hormone regimen, is adding the name "Vivian" and assuming the prefix "Mx." And so: Mx. Justin Vivian Bond is neither male nor female, but transgender, and you may refer to Bond as neither a he nor a she, but a v. [photo: Amos Mac, via]


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Queerty

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Two sides of the same coin: Dan Choi, White House’s Brian Bond on DADT legislative repeal

It’s been a long historic day and the reactions have run the gamut from “you know it played out just as the President planned” (the brilliant 12 dimensional chess strategy meme), to “HRC claiming any responsibility for this is BS” to “it couldn’t be done without “X” (as in there’s a single reason for DADT’s legislative repeal).

As always, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I’m not sure why any one faction has to “claim” victory — that seems very Beltway, as opposed to the big picture that there was a win today, one with an incomplete asterisk next to it.

A promise to repeal the discriminatory policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is exactly that – repealing the impact of the policy itself. That was made quite clear — from SLDN’s cautionary warning to service members not to come out yet, to HRC’s victory post saying the same thing.

Here are two examples of viewing the glass of pre-victory from today. First, Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement at the White House (a.k.a. the “LGBT liaison”) has a post up: “Ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

Today, I had one of those “once in a lifetime” moments.  As I sat in the Senate Gallery with my bosses, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina and Director of the Office of Public Engagement Tina Tchen, I saw history being made as the US Senate voted 65 to 31 to pass the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.  I am proud of the many leaders in Congress and all those who have worked to put an end to DADT.  And I’m proud of the President for his leadership on this issue.   It has been a long time getting here and it has been a struggle – but as the President has said many times, “Change isn’t easy.” But today we took a huge step forward to set right a wrong.

Last December about this time, I was at a small event in the Roosevelt Room.  The President was just getting ready to leave for the Christmas Holiday.  He walked over to me and without missing a beat, put his hand on my shoulder, and I will never forget what he said to me – unsolicited — “We are going to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  We have a little bit of work to do still, but we are going to get it done.”  A month later, in his first State of the Union Address, the President said, “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.  It’s the right thing to do.”

Now I am sure that there will be many stories written about what happened and how we got here, but for me, the key part of the story that I will never forget is that commitment from the President.   Nor will I ever forget the brave men and women who have served with distinction who also happen to be gay or lesbian.  Throughout the course of this effort, I have been privileged to meet some amazing heroes who just wanted to serve their country.  I will carry their stories with me for the rest of my life.

Dan Choi (who is out of the hospital and received his Blend “get well card” today), has a piece up at Huff Po — “Congress Repeals DADT” — and strikes a different tone.

No revolution towards justice ever went backwards. To all the supporters of equality and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’s death, I am so grateful. The road has not been easy. We have learned many important lessons about social justice, movements, supporting each other, and speaking out against discrimination.

The mission is not finished; it has only just begun. The most critical mission is supporting and encouraging closeted soldiers to finally access their full integrity, dignity, and humanity. This mission is in keeping with the first lessons learned at West Point or basic training. As the legislation signals a new chapter in our journey, we can be sure that our work has only begun. I call on all soldiers to gain the courage to come out. First come out to yourselves, then tell your trusted friends and family. Tell everyone who you trust and who deserves nothing less than truth. Stop hating yourselves as your country has signaled for so long. Furthermore, your coming out is not for you. It is for all those who come after. Military service is not about rank, pension or paycheck. Climbing the ladder is shameful without true purity of service and I applaud those who give up the superficial artifacts of career in favor of complete integrity and justice.

…President Obama, you are not off the hook. The compromise bill passed today puts the moral imperative squarely on your desk. Sign an executive order instituting a full non-discrimination policy throughout the military. If you do not, if you drag your feet and politicize this with your theoretical calculations as you have these past two years, you will be guilty of abetting those who loudly proclaim homophobia from their platforms and pulpits. Provide them no shelter or safe haven. Institute justice now.

Both points of view are personal, both stem from resolve to see equality happen, but there is no black and white to the struggle for equality, it involves many political shades of gray. For those who are so motivated by being “right” or on top politically, they don’t want to see that there are many routes to success along the way, that the spectrum of ideas and tactics were responsible for today’s step, not in spite of one viewpoint or another. That’s pretty disappointing, but not unexpected. There are many battles ahead, perhaps people can get their heads together after popping the champagne corks this evening.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Right, NOM: Paladino’s so ‘pro-marriage’, his love exceeded even his own nuptial bond

-He’s sent around a bevy of racist, sexist and pornographic emails.

-He had an extramarital affair that resulted in a daughter.

-He’s threatened to “take out” reporters who ask too man questions.

-He says he doesn’t want children “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option–it isn’t.

-He’s accused opponent Andrew Cuomo of having an affair, with absolutely no evidence to support the deceit.

Or as the National Organization For Marriage describes New York’s Republican nominee for governor, Carl Paladino:

The NOM group says it supports “strong pro-family, pro-child” candidates, including Paladino, but also says it is not “under the control” of any particular candidate. [Buffalo News]



“Kids have enough to deal with already, without pushing gay marriage on them,” the narrator says. The New York version [of the NOM radio ad] urges listeners to vote for Paladino, who polls show is trailing Democrat Andrew Cuomo. [WaPo]

Yup, that’s correct: In NY’s gubernatorial matchup, NOM is seriously referring to Paladino as the “values” candidate. You know, because Carl opposes gays’ ring fingers, so therefore he’s a moral stalwart in need of unquestioned public support from social conservatives, one and all.

Stay myopic, “traditional marriage” warriors!




Good As You

—  admin

Brian Bond on AIDS Awareness Day

WHITE HOUSE AIDS RIBBON 2009 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMBrian Bond — President Obama’s liaison to the LGBT community—wants
gay Americans to know Washington’s efforts to curtail HIV infection
among gay men.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright