Robert Dye responds: Farmer’s Branch mayoral candidate apologizes for 2004 slur, ‘would never use that word now’

Robert Dye

Farmer’s Branch mayoral candidate Robert Dye contacted Dallas Voice today (Wednesday, June 7) to respond to a blog posted Monday, June 5, recapping his three arrests — in 2004, 2009 and 2013 — for DWI and noting that during the 2004 arrest, in Lubbock, reports indicated that he resisted arrests and called the arresting officer a “fucking faggot.”

Dye, now 33, today acknowledged that he had used the word “faggot” and apologized for having done so, adding that he has matured significantly in the 13 years since the incident.

“That was 2004. I was 20 years old, and in college, and it was 2 a.m.,” he said. “I did say some things then I should never have said, not thinking how insensitive that word was. That word was used a lot at that time [as a general insult], but since realizing how insensitive and insulting it is, I haven’t used that word or even thought to use it.”

Dye said that he had not used the word to insult the officer by implying he was gay or that being gay was a bad thing. Instead, it was “a very unfortunate” choice of words to express his anger that the situation he was in.

“I would never use that word now,” Dye said. “I am a very open-minded person. I am for equality across the board.”

Dye also said that his opponent, Harold Froehlich, and Froehlich’s supporters have “literally dragged me through the mud” over the course of the campaign and in the run-up to the special election on Saturday, June 10. “But I have held myself to a different standard. There are things about my opponent that I could have brought up, but I haven’t. I have refused to go negative.

“I believe that you shouldn’t be defined by who you were and what you did. You should be defined by who you are now and who you will be going forward,” he added.

Dye said he has, instead, chosen to focus on the issues in the race and explaining his own vision for the future of Farmer’s Branch. That includes, he said, expanding commercial development in terms of expanding the entertainment, cultural and community opportunities for the city’s current residents, instead of focusing solely on building more new apartment complexes to serve possible future residents.

Dye said that while he has no children of his own, “I understand the value of education,” and that he hopes to find new ways for the city to support its two school districts. And he wants to find “new ways we can go greener. Farmer’s Branch is known as ‘the city in the park.’ So why aren’t we already greener. “

Dye described himself as clearly the “younger and more open-minded” of the two runoff candidates. He said he has “new ideas” to move the city forward and “bridge the divisiveness” that has characterized Farmer’s Branch’s politics in the past. Referring to an ordinance passed by the city council in 2006 — later overturned in the courts — that would have required landlords to verify a potential renter’s legal residency status, he said he wanted to “speak to our citizens who feel threatened” to let them know they are safe and they are welcome.

“My opponent and his supporters took a nonpartisan race and made it very partisan,” Dye said. “And yes, I am liberal on social issues. But I am also for tighter budgets and more responsible spending and revitalization. I want Farmer’s Branch to be a city that others look to as a leader.”

While Dye himself chose not “go negative” on his opponent, others who contacted Dallas Voice were quick to note that Froehlich has not been a progressive leader in any form or fashion.

While acknowledging that Dye had “made some mistakes in his past” and that the slurs he used in his past were “disappointing,” one Farmer’s Branch resident, who said he and his partner have lived in the city for six years, said that Dye is by far the best candidate in the race. He said that Froehlich “has run one of the nastiest campaigns I’ve ever seen,” and that it has been “heartbreaking to see him and his friends … jump on the backs of the LGBT community and portray themselves as friends and allies. Harold has touted his traditional family values as one of the reasons he is qualified to run as mayor, though good luck finding any material of that now.”

“Family values” has long been acknowledged as code for “anti-gay” among right-wing candidates.

Another gay Farmer’s Branch resident said that he and a friend had seen Dallas Voice’s original post on Dye’s arrests shared on the Facebook page of a group called Friends of Farmer’s Branch, which he said is a PAC formed to oppose Dye’s candidacy. “I and another friend commented thanking them for their support for the LGBT community,” he said. “Immediately after that our comments were removed and the article was taken down from their page. Now they made their page private so that I cannot see it anymore. I think this speaks volumes on their mindset.”

Others responding in support of Dye have called Froehlich a “Tea Party candidate,” noting he supported the anti-immigrant efforts in 2006.

Early voting in the Farmer’s Branch mayoral runoff ended Tuesday. The election is Saturday. In the May 17 election, Froehlich led the field of four candidates with 1,208 — or 43 percent — of the votes cast. Dye was second with 965 votes — 34 percent.

—  Tammye Nash

Farmer’s Branch mayoral candidate has a record of DWI arrests, allegedly used anti-gay language

Robert Clair Dye III in mug shots from 2013 and 2014

With less than a week to go before the Farmer’s Branch mayoral runoff election, LGBT North Texans and their allies are encouraging residents of Farmer’s Branch not to vote for candidate Robert Clair Dye III, noting that Dye has been arrested three times for DWI, according to public records, and in at least one case berated the arresting officer with anti-LGBT language.

His first arrest was in Lubbock on March 12, 2004, when he was a student. Officer Chad Demaray wrote in his police report that he stopped Dye after having observed Dye swerve and disregard two stop signs. After he stopped Dye, Demaray said, he noticed “a strong odor of alcoholic beverage.”

After Dye failed a field sobriety test, Demaray determined he was intoxicated and arrested him.

Demaray asked Dye if the passenger could park the vehicle, but Dye wanted to pull it into a parking space himself. When the officer refused to let him drive and told Dye his vehicle would be impounded, “he got very upset, calling Officer Osborn a ‘fucking faggot’ over and over,” Demaray wrote.

Dye was handcuffed and placed in the back of the patrol car, where he began banging his head against the center shield. Dye slipped the cuffs under him so his hands were in front and he unbuckled his seat belt. When Osborn and Demaray tried to remove him from the vehicle, Dye stiffened his body to prevent them from doing so.

After removing Dye from the car and placing him on the ground, the officers recuffed him and transported him to the DWI room at Lubbock police headquarters.

After being advised that he was being taped. Dye refused to give a specimen of his breath and refused to sign a statutory warning form.

Dye’s vehicle was impounded and his driver’s license confiscated. While being booked, officers found someone else’s driver’s license in his shoe and he was charged with this additional offense.

That information comes from the police report given to Dallas Voice, but we have obtained no additional documents yet that indicate disposition of the case.

Dye’s second DUI arrest came on March 28, 2009, when he was arrested in Dallas for driving while intoxicated and assault on a public servant.

Officers John Nash III and Albert Chacon saw Dye’s vehicle driving southbound in the northbound lane of North Henderson Avenue. After stopping him and determining Dye was intoxicated, the officers checked his record and found no prior DWI convictions.

After being told to put his hands behind his back, Dye tried to walk back to his vehicle. Nash grabbed Dye’s left wrist and Dye swung his right fist but missed Nash’s face. He refused to put his hands behind his back “and continued to resist,” the police report says. Dye tripped on the curb and fell.

“A/O (arresting officer) released A/P (arrested person) to put out an assist at which time the A/P rolled and struck A/O Nash in the left jaw with his right fist causing pain and discomfort,” the police report says. “A/O was able to pin the right arm and control A/P and he used a three second burst of pepper spray to get A/P to stop resisting and take the A/P into custody.”

Dye was convicted of DWI on August 18, 2009 in Dallas County.

On July 13, 2013, Dye was arrested in Plano. The police report doesn’t indicate Dye resisted arrest this time, but he did refuse to give a blood sample. A blood draw was taken after he was booked.

“Dye was very confrontational about the blood draw and advised that he was going to resist,” the police report says. “When several other officers entered into the room he decided to cooperate.”

On a background check of Dye, this arrest is listed as his second DWI. The Plano police report indicates it found a record of the Lubbock arrest, “but there was no conviction data available on the return.”

That indicates charges in the 2004 arrest were dropped, however the arrest is still on the record.

On May 15, 2014 and again on Oct. 9, 2014, Dye was taken into custody for violating terms of his bond.

In the May 17 election, four candidates were running for mayor. Dye placed second with 965 votes or 34 percent of the total. Harold Froehlich received 43 percent with 1,208 votes.

They face each other in the runoff on June 10.

—  Tammye Nash

WATCH: Keller teen petitions City Council to outlaw anti-gay discrimination in restaurants

Isaiah Smith, left, collecting signatures in Keller. (From KDAF Channel 33)

After seeing an episode of the ABC reality show What Would You Do that was filmed at Norma’s Cafe in Farmers Branch last year, gay 16-year-old Isaiah Smith is trying to change a law in his own hometown, Keller.

In the ABC show, actors posed as a lesbian couple with children. The waitress acted shocked and said the children would be better off with a father. The point was to get a negative reaction from other customers.

According to a report by Dawn Tongish on KDAF last week, Smith has collected more than 400 signatures to encourage the Keller City Council to outlaw discrimination in restaurants in that city.

Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth are the only cities in Texas that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations.

In the report, Smith points out that gays and lesbians have no protection in Texas and, without a local ordinance, could be thrown out of a restaurant simply because of who they are.

—  David Taffet

WATCH: ABC’s ‘What Would You Do?’ on gay parenting at Norma’s Cafe in Farmers Branch

Last week we told you about Friday night’s episode of What Would You Do? filmed in part at Norma’s Cafe in Farmers Branch. The third segment of the ethical-dilemma, hidden-camera show focused on gay parenting and involved a waitress — an actress — saying hateful things to two same-sex couples, also actors and actresses, who are dining with their kids at Norma’s.

“You’re gay and you have kids?” the waitress says to the first couple, two women. “It’s bad enough that you’re lesbians, but that they don’t have a father, I think that’s kind of bad. … I mean isn’t it bad for the kids?”

Remarkably, or perhaps not, two male customers who overhear the waitress’ statements take bold stands against her.

“You are by far the worst waitress I’ve ever seen in this restaurant,” the first man says. “You’re a horrible person and a horrible waitress. You need to leave. You need to physically leave this restaurant right now.”

—  John Wright

ABC’s ‘What Would You Do?’ to air gay parenting episode shot at Norma’s Cafe in Farmers Branch


Looks like you may want to tune in to ABC’s What Would You Do? on Friday night.

That’s when the hidden-camera, ethical-dilemma series airs an episode about gay parenting shot at Norma’s Cafe in Farmers Branch:

An actress hired by What Would You Do? is waiting tables at a local family style diner, Norma’s Café in Farmers Branch, Texas. It’s a typical busy morning for her until our actors portraying the role of a gay couple — first females, then males — dining with their children are seated in her section. As she begins to express her discomfort and probe their parenting skills, other diners begin to take notice. Will these patrons take the side of our waitress or will they defend the unconventional family?

According to ABC, the actress playing the waitress tells the gay parents, “I mean it’s bad enough you’re lesbians but you’re also parents and they don’t have a father. I think that’s kind of bad. I think this is terrible. I think they need a Dad!”

ABC hasn’t posted any footage from the episode but does provide us with a sneak preview of bystanders’ responses to the waitress, which are surprisingly supportive of the gay parents for a city led by Timothy O’Hare:

“I’ve never felt so uncomfortable and so beside myself with anger. You are a horrible person and a horrible waitress, and you need to leave.”

“You’re the hate monster.”

“This is not the place for a political debate. This is a place for you to do your job.”

“You are not king. You are not God. You have no choice. You have no place to put anybody in their place.”

“It’s about the quality of the parents and the love that there is in the home more than it’s having a mom and a dad.”

What Would You Do? airs at 8 p.m. Central on Friday.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: House to spend $500K or more on DOMA defense; majority back gay marriage

Timothy O’Hare

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. The Dallas Morning News (paid subscription required) has an extensive recap in today’s edition of the controversy over a Gay Straight Alliance at R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton. As we’ve reported, bigoted Farmers Branch Mayor Timothy O’Hare railed against the GSA on Twitter, but O’Hare has since removed those posts from his account and didn’t respond to The DMN’s request for comment. O’Hare wasn’t the only one who spoke out against the GSA, though: school board candidate Randy Schackmann reportedly issued a statement calling the GSA an “agenda-driven, politically motivated, lifestyle-focused” group and said its presence amounts to “an assault by school leadership” on residents. As we’ve noted, the GSA was allowed to form and has been meeting, but The DMN story does shed some light on the difficulties faced by students wanting to start GSAs in North Texas. It also ends with a priceless quote from the R.L. Turner GSA’s 18-year-old president, Arafel Bruce, who was asked by the newspaper whether the GSA has an agenda to promote homosexuality: “I’m sorry. I’m trying not to laugh,” she said.

2. Five hundred and twenty dollars per hour, and up to $500,000 total, unless the cap is raised by written agreement. That’s how much Speaker John Boehner and the House GOP will pay attorney Paul Clement and his firm, King & Spalding, to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign is continuing its assault against King & Spalding — which, by the way, has an office in Houston but not Dallas — for taking the case.

3. Yet another poll has shown that a majority of Americans support marriage equality. A CNN poll released Tuesday found that 51 percent believe gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry. However, the poll found that seven of 10 Republicans are opposed to same-sex marriage.

 

—  John Wright

WATCH: Oral Roberts’ gay grandson Randy Potts records ‘It Gets Better’ video message

Randy Potts recording his “It Gets Better” video.

Earlier this year we profiled North Texas’ Randy Potts, whose grandfather was anti-gay evangelist Oral Roberts.

Randy Potts is gay, and so was his uncle, Ronnie, who committed suicide in 1982. Now, using a letter to his deceased uncle as a backdrop, Randy has recorded an “It Gets Better” video message to LGBT youth.

Potts lives in Farmers Branch. He moved to the area to be near his three children. He has little contact with the Roberts family although last year he did attend his grandfather’s funeral. In the video, he describes how, in front of 4,000 mourners, his mother told him he’d be going to hell.

NPR’s “The Story” interviewed him for an upcoming episode. He expects it to run later this year on the anniversary of his grandfather’s death.

—  David Taffet