Convicted gay-bashing killer Jon Buice released on parole

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Jon Buice

File this under “Things That Slipped By Us”:

Jon Buice, who pleaded guilty in 1992 to murdering a Houston gay man, was released from prison on Dec. 30 after serving 23 years of his 45-year sentence.

Buice was 17 on July 4, 1991, when he and nine other youths from The Woodlands, a suburb north of Houston, drove to the Montrose area, Houston’s gayborhood, where they attacked three gay men leaving a nightclub. Two of the men managed to get away from the gang of young men wielding knives, pipes and nail-studded boards.

But Paul Broussard, a 27-year-old banker, was beaten to death. His death sparked outrage in the LGBT community statewide, and publicity surrounding the brutal murder helped prod the Texas Legislature to pass a law that mirrored the federal Hate Crimes Statistics Act. That law called for local and state law enforcement agencies to collect data on hate crimes, and was Texas’ first step toward a comprehensive hate crimes law.

ABC 13 Eyewitness News in Houston, in reporting on Buice’s parole, talked to Ray Hill, the Houston activist who led efforts to make sure Broussard’s murder was investigated as a hate crime and led marches and protests, pressing prosecutors for stiffer punishments. Hill later changed his mind, deciding that it wasn’t a hate crime, but just a case of drunken teens getting in a fight. He has since led the push to get Buice released on parole.

“I was the second person [Buice] hugged when he walked out of the door today,” Hill told ABC 13 the day Buice was released. “He hugged his father then he grabbed on me and was a little longer holding on to me.”

Broussard’s mother, Nancy Rodriguez, had fought diligently over the last 23 years to keep Buice in prison. In August 2011, the parole board reversed an earlier decision to release Buice on parole then after they were given “new information.” Rodriguez, who had traveled to Texas from her home in Georgia each time Buice was up for parole, said in 2011 that Buice had never shown remorse for killing her son, and that she did not feel like he had changed. “I am concerned [Buice] will go out and do something else to someone else,” she said at the time.

Under the terms of his parole, Buice will have to wear ankle monitor, avoid contact with the victim’s family and get permission from his parole officer if he ever wants to return to Harris County.

—  Tammye Nash

Gay basher sentenced to 15-plus years

Johnson mug

Brice Johnson

A 20-year-old Springtown man was sentenced today (Monday, Nov. 17) to more than 15 years in prison in connection with an assault on a gay man he met on an online dating network in 2013. The victim, identified in court papers as A.K., is also from Springtown, a small town straddling the line between Wise and Parker counties, just northwest of Fort Worth.

According to an article by Domingo Ramirez Jr. for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Brice Johnson told family members in recorded phone calls from jail that he had invited the victim over as a joke after connecting with him on, according to the federal criminal complaint filed in the case. The two chatted in a MeetMe chat room on the morning of Sept. 2, 2013, about having sex, and later exchanged a series of explicit text messages about what sexual activities they intended to engage in. Johnson then invited A.K. to his home.

Johnson said that after A.K. arrived at his home, they stayed outside talking for awhile before A.K. grabbed Johnson’s penis. Johnson then said he wasn’t gay and hit the victim several times. A.K. later told police he did not grab Johnson’s penis.

Johnson then beat the victim severely, tied him up with an electrical cord and threw him in the trunk of his own car before driving the car to a friend’s home. At the friend’s house, A.K. began yelling for help, and the friend told Johnson to take the injured man to the hospital. Johnson then drove the injured man to an emergency medical center in Springtown.

Johnson initially told authorities he found A.K. beaten up and in the trunk of the car after seeing a black truck drive away, but later admitted having had the sexually-explicit conversation online. Police also found that Johnson had saved the victim’s cell phone number on his own cell phone, using an anti-gay slur rather than the man’s actual name.

—  Tammye Nash

REVIEW: ‘Tennessee Queer’

TNQrIn 1967, some schoolyard bullies at Smythe High School in rural Tennessee, seeing a fellow student they decide is “queer as a three dollar bill,” set out to bash him in a schoolwide event. Then in 1972, a new set of kids plan the same. And again 1976. And 1983. And …

The history of using the locker room wall as a clearinghouse for hatred finally ends in 2014 with a conscientious principal who paints over it. But not all progress is so easy.

Tennessee Queerwhich plays for a single showing tonight at the Texas Theater at 7 p.m. — tracks the long journey for gay Jason (Christian Walker) who happily escaped Smythe to the lights of NYC. When he returns home for an intervention, he’s surprised to find it’s for him — not to cure the gay away, but to get him to move back to town and live with his supporting family who accept him unconditionally.

This indie film — low-budget but lovingly made — is a sweet-natured comedy with heart … I know, a cliche when it comes to gay cinema, but not a bad one. It’s about the real stresses of dealing with well-meaning family members, whether gay or straight. But politics and religion enter into the story when a politician (clearly closeted) tries to run for mayor on a “morality” campaign and shows the town isn’t as progressive as it seems.

“Smythe is still Smythe, and being gay is the worst possible thing to be,” the principal tells Jason. It would be nice if he could help make things better for the students.

If a little two-dimensional and sitcom-y, Tennessee Queer has a positive message about tolerance, and tackles gay pride in a creative and entertaining way. Especially for those who grew up in small-town Southern culture, it resonates as a hopeful story of acceptance … even if less ideal than the reality.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas Children’s Theater shows “it gets better”

In tomorrow’s edition, I have a review of the Dallas Children’s Theater’s production of The Secret Life of Girls, an hour-long drama about bullying among 14-year-old girls. Though the piece doesn’t directly address gay-bashing, it does show in stark and disturbingly realistic ways how the orbits of clique-ish girls form, and the dangers of it. (On opening night, Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns participated in the talk-back that follows.)

The play, though, is only one part of a larger program at DCT, that continues this weekend at the Baker Idea Institute, which has as its theme “It Gets Better.” In addition to Girls, there will be a one-day teen summit on Saturday, (starting at 9:30 a.m. and running until 6:30 p.m.), as well as a staged reading of the play The Transition of Doodle Pequeno, pictured, which deals with gender identity issues. (You can read an interview with the playwright on, here.)

For more information on the summit, visit

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

UPDATE #2: Apology letter for State Fair incident


—  David Taffet

Anti-gay tirade ruins family’s State Fair outing

STATE UNFAIR | Dondi Morse, left, and Latisha Pennington say they attended the State Fair of Texas with their seven-year-old daughter and were verbally attacked by one vendor.

Haltom City lesbians say vendor’s verbal gay-bashing left their 7-year-old daughter in tears

UPDATE: Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America has sent an apology to the couple and the man in the booth who verbally attacked the couple has been removed from the fair.

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer

When Latisha Pennington and Dondi Morse of Haltom City took their 7-year-old daughter to the Texas State Fair last weekend, they just wanted to have a fun day seeing the animals and trying out the fair’s famed array of fried treats.

But the women said this week their plans were ruined when one vendor verbally gay-bashed them in front of their daughter, leaving the little girl in tears and forcing the family to cut their outing short.

Although Pennington acknowledges that it isn’t hard to look at her and know she is a lesbian, that same isn’t true for her partner. And the two of them weren’t doing anything that day to attract attention; they weren’t holding hands and they certainly weren’t kissing or engaging in any kind of public displays of affection.

“We were just there to have fun with our daughter,” Pennington said, adding that PDAs “just aren’t our style.”

But that wasn’t enough to ward off some unwanted attention from the men at the booth for the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America.

Pennington said she and Morse and their daughter had just left one of the animal buildings when she heard a man call out to them. He said, she recalled,

“Hey, come here, come here. I got something for you. Got a couple of questions.”

The women noticed that the man was one of several at the booth that were giving away T-shirts and visors so they decided to go over and see what was being offered.

Each man in the booth was holding a sign that said, “What would you take for $1 million?” And the man who called them over did indeed have a question for them: “Would you take $1 million for your right eye?”

Pennington said she closed one eye, and the man asked her what she was doing. She told him she was just checking to see how well she could see out of one eye before she answered.

She said the man laughed at her answer. But his next question was no laughing matter: “Would you take $1 million for your soul?”

That’s when Morse jumped into the conversation, telling the man that if he was trying to engage them in a religious debate, they weren’t interested in going further.

Pennington said the man assured them he wasn’t interested in a religious debate either. But his next statement proved otherwise. That’s when the encounter began to turn ugly.

Pennington said he asked them, “What do you think will happen to your soul when you die?” Then he answered his own question with, “I know what’s going to happen to your soul. You’re going to hell for being a homosexual.”

The man then began “slinging biblical quotes at us” that supposedly condemn homosexuality. And as his harangue continued, their daughter began to cry, prompting the mothers to get her away from the booth and the man there as quickly as possible.

“We were at the booth no more than two minutes,” Pennington said, adding that the first thing to go through her mind was, “Oh, wow! Nothing like this has ever happened to us before.”

Besides just ruining their family outing with his remarks, Pennington said she questions what sort of family values the man who accosted them thought he was teaching her.

They tried to calm their daughter, Pennington said, but she continued to cry, asking Morse, “Mommy, why are you going to hell?”

The couple soon decided that they needed to leave the fair as quickly as possible to get their daughter to a safer environment where she could begin to calm down.

Pennington said they contacted state fair officials immediately to complain. On Wednesday, she said, they had heard back from State Fair Director Kelly Pound, who offered the family free tickets to return another day.

But Pennington said that while she appreciates the offer, she and Morse feel their daughter was too traumatized by the encounter to risk a return visit to the fair this year.

Pennington also said she doesn’t think just offering the family free tickets was an adequate response, and that she worries that other families could be attacked and other children traumatized by the man’s anti-gay tirades, even if they aren’t LGBT families.

Pennington suggested that fair officials should remove the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America and their booth from the fair. Sue Gooding, a spokeswoman for fair officials, said Thursday, Oct. 6, that while the group wouldn’t be asked to leave the fair, such behavior violates fair policy and will not be tolerated.

“That’s not the way we expect our vendors to act,” Gooding said, adding that vendors are expected to stay in their booths and should not call people over.

She said that Pound had gone to the booth already to have a discussion with the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship after the incident was reported, letting them know that “We’re not going to put up with this.”

Gooding said that while “the conversation went well,” Pound may decide to have a second conversation with the group before this weekend, when some 200 people have indicated on the “Gay Day at the State Fair” Facebook group page that they will be attending the fair on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Fairgoers who would like to visit the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Association of America will find its booth outside the Pan Am Arena located behind the Cotton Bowl, on Nimitz Avenue.



For more information on the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America,
go online to According to the website, the group’s
mission is:

“• To reach men everywhere for Jesus Christ, taking particular note that in many instances men can reach others of their same social, cultural or business interests more readily than anyone else.

“• To call men to God: to help men become born again, baptized in the Holy Spirit, operate in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and take the Good News to the nations.

“• To mentor young men who have never had positive male role models by being a spiritual father to them.

“• To provide a basis of fellowship among all men everywhere: by creating a fellowship not directly associated with any specific church, but cooperating with all denominations and inspiring our members to be active in their respective churches.

“• To bring about a greater measure of unity and harmony in the Body of Christ; where members are united in a common effort to spread the Good News and to be in full fellowship and submission to the true Head of the church . . . the Lord Jesus Christ.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 7, 2011.

—  John Wright

Sally Kern points to Dallas Voice as source of evil

Our good friend, Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern, has a new book coming out called The Stoning of Sally Kern: The liberal attack on Christian conservatism-and why we must take a stand.

Poor Sally. The liberal media is attacking her. And just who is this liberal media? Well, she clearly identifies it as us. Here’s a quote from her book:

“Publications such as Dallas Voice and The Advocate ran on line articles commending my opponent and bashing me.”

Well, if quoting her in context is bashing, we’ll take full credit.

Here’s what she said:

“I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam, which I think is a big threat.”

The “it” she was talking about is homosexuality. And that wasn’t some off-handed comment. It was part of a state proclamation that other state elected officials condemned.

And just to make sure she wasn’t misunderstood, she also said:

“Here in America we’ve had what maybe three known real big terrorist attacks on our nation. But every day our young people especially, all of us, but our young people especially are in a sense bombarded with the message that homosexuality is normal and natural.”

We also pointed out that Kern’s district is adjacent to the one where the Oklahoma City bombing took place. People from her district were killed. But gays are a bigger threat.

Here’s my interview with her opponent, Brittany Novotny. I’m not sure that I “commended” Novotny. I merely reported that the New York Times said she had a chance to win. I quoted the candidate calling her opponent an extremist. And Kern would have had the same opportunity if she returned a phone call.

I can’t wait to read the entire book so we can do some more Kern-bashing.

—  David Taffet

Right-wing lawmaker says Legislature doesn’t have time to remove sodomy ban from books

Wayne Christian

The Austin American-Statesman has a story today about legislation aimed at removing Texas’ unconstitutional sodomy ban from the books. (It makes you wonder, why doesn’t The Dallas Morning News report on stuff like this?)

Section 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code, which outlawed gay sex, was struck down as unconstitutional eight years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the statute remains on the books, and those who want to remove it say its continued presence “creates a climate favorable to bullying, gay-bashing and hate crimes,” according to the Statesman.

Take, for example, the incident a few years back at Chico’s Tacos in El Paso, in which two gay men were threatened with sodomy charges for kissing in public. No, we’re not kidding.

Democratic State Reps. Jessica Farrar and Garnet Coleman have introduced identical bills that would remove 21.06 from the books, but the bills are almost guaranteed to go nowhere in the Republican-monopolized Legislature.

Why? Well, the real reason is that many conservative lawmakers believe sodomy should still be a crime. The Statesman fails to point out that the state GOP platform calls for the recriminalization of sodomy. But naturally these right-wing lawmakers are too chicken shit to come out and say this, so they’ve come up with another excuse: We simply don’t have enough time!

From the Statesman:

As of January, Republicans hold 101 of the 150 seats in the Texas House , a supermajority that allows them to easily control legislation. Last session, the House was almost evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.

The GOP domination is also reflected in the Criminal Jurisprudence committee, which would be the first to vote on Farrar’s or Coleman’s bill . A Democrat chairs the committee, but Republicans — including Wayne Christian, the most recent president of the Texas Conservative Coalition — outnumber them two-to-one.

Christian said he had not looked at the bills in detail, but that the time it would take them to go through committee probably would not be worth the outcome — especially in a session where lawmakers are wrestling with major issues like redistricting and filling a multi-billion-dollar budget hole.

So there you have it, folks. Christian doesn’t believe gays should be allowed to fill each other’s holes, so he’s claiming the Legislature is too busy filling the budget hole. Or, to phrase it another way, Christian is preoccupied with filling his own hole.

Funny how the Texas Legislature always seems to find time to TAKE AWAY people’s civil rights.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Another attack in a bar; this time it’s a lesbian who’s injured — and then arrested

Laura Gilbert says after she was beat up by patrons of an Opelika, Ala., bar because she’s gay, sheriff’s deputies there arrested her instead of her attackers.

Back on Jan. 28 we told you about John Skaggs, a 52-year-old gay man who was beaten with a pool cue in a Shreveport bar by another man who allegedly said he was going to beat Skaggs up because Skaggs is gay. The suspect in that case, 32-year-old William Payne, has been arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder and the commission of a hate crime.

In that case, the owner of the bar, Tim Huck, told KLSA 12 television news the attack was unprovoked and was “totally 100 percent a hate crime for his sexual orientation.”

Now comes word from Opelika, Ala., about another gay-bashing in a bar, only this time the victim was a lesbian. And this time, law enforcement officers who arrived at the scene arrested only the woman who’d been beat up.

Laura Gilbert, 25, told WRBL 3 News that she had gone to The Villa outside Opelika with her friend from high school, Sheila Siddall, to celebrate Siddall’s birthday by singing karaoke. Gilbert said she felt uncomfortable as soon as she walked into the bar and people began staring at her, but she stayed because she didn’t want to ruin Siddall’s birthday celebration.

Later, when Gilbert and Siddall started to leave the bar, they were confronted by a woman who started a fistfight that moved outside and grew to include about 12 people, including two men. Siddall called 911 on her cell phone, but when sheriff’s deputies arrived they arrested only Gilbert. Siddall said the officers refused to even listen to her’s and Gilbert’s side of the story and were “over there cutting up with the ones who did it [beat up Gilbert].” New reports also indicated that the only person who suffered any injuries was Gilbert.

Gilbert is charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication.

Sheriff Jay Jones said that had deputies been told the fight was a hate crime, they would have reported it as such, and said they did not get information for the report from Gilbert and Siddall because the two were too intoxicated. When asked why the deputies did take statements from others at the scene who were also intoxicated, James said the deputies did the best they could.

Gilbert and Siddall have both since filed separate reports about the fight, but Gilbert told WRBL that she still hasn’t been contacted by officials.

Alabama does have a hate crime law, but it does not include sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

—  admin

WATCH: FCKH8 bashes back against gay bashing — what took so long?

While other causes are a little more on the sentimental side, I have to say the FCKH8 campaign has gotten my attention in under three minutes. Cursing kids shooting the middle finger — hilarious! Proceeds from the sales of their merch benefit the Trevor Project. T-shirts emblazoned with “Don’t B H8n on the Homos” among other clever items are too good to pass up. I’m digging the hoodie, although purple isn’t my color.

The campaign released its latest video on Sunday and while it’s fun to watch, it is so NSFW.

—  Rich Lopez