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

If you like it build a museum to it, Houston may get Beyoncé monument

I'm sure the plans for the failed 555 ft "Spirit of Houston" statue are still in a drawer somewhere. Just make it more bootylicious and put a ring on it.

Hometown heroes have always been honored with monuments; from Hannibal, Missouri’s Mark Twain Museum to Cleveland’s memorial to President Garfield, from Atchison, Kansas’ Amelia Earhart museum, to Concord, Ohio’s John Glenn historic site. Pity Houston! Which scion of our fair burg will rise up from the shackles of obscurity to clasp the liberty of immortality that only a dedicated monument can bring?

Beyoncé Knowles, that’s who, at least according to two men who skyped with Fox 26 and are expecting the Mayor to endorse their plans any day now. Steve White and Marcus Mitchell of Armdeonce Ventures say they want to honor the newly minted musical mother with a “statue or museum.” According to Mitchell,

““Our biggest thing is a lot of people get honored when they die, so our goal is to why not honor people why they’re still here? We felt as though it’s her time to be honored. We wanted to construct, like, a massive hall so as the doors open, if you donated to the monument, you’ll have a separate nameplate.”

Armdeonce Ventures has offices in Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Houston according to it’s website. The Beyoncé Monument is the only project currently listed on the site.

Watch the Fox 26 interview with the visionary twosome after the break.

—  admin

‘Perform or provide’

DADT repeal gives progressive chaplains a chance to counter evangelical clergy in the military

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CATCH-ALL CHAPLAIN | Chaplain Chris Antal (Lt.) attended the meeting of the Forum on Military Chaplaincy at Cathedral of Hope in October. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com
When a soldier recently came to Chaplain Chris Antal, a lieutenant in the Army National Guard in New York and a Unitarian Universalist minister, and asked if he’d pray with her even though she was a pagan, he said he replied, “Of course I will, but you’ll have to show me how.”

Several weeks later, when he saw her again, she told him that the day she had come to visit him, she had hit rock bottom. He had, she told him, saved her life that day.

But Antal said he was only doing his job — helping any soldier who comes to him.

“I’ve earned the nickname, the Catch-all Chaplain,” he said, explaining that it means he takes everyone the other chaplains don’t want to deal with.

Carpenter.Dodd

Capt. Tom Carpenter (ret.) and Col. Paul Dodd (ret.)

Being there to help a soldier in need is what it’s all about for a military chaplain, said Col. Paul Dodd, a retired chaplain who now lives in Austin.

“The duty of a military chaplain is to perform or provide,” said Dodd, adding that he once sponsored an Islamic conference.

Dodd said that no chaplain can perform every service needed by every member of the military. But if a chaplain can’t perform the service requested, he or she must provide that soldier with a referral to someone else who can.

Antal said that chaplains who enlisted knew what they were getting into — to some extent. But none of them really expected the repeal of the military’s anti-gay “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. And for many, that repeal was a game changer.

In October, a group of active and retired chaplains and military personnel and other people of faith, such as the Rev. Steve Sprinkle from Brite Divinity

School in Fort Worth, met at the Interfaith Peace Chapel at Cathedral of Hope to begin looking at ways of addressing the issues that arose for military chaplains around DADT repeal.

Dave Guy Gainer said The Forum on Military Chaplaincy is not exactly new. It formed in 2005 as a project of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and worked under the radar until DADT was repealed.

Sprinkle said people in the Pentagon, up through Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, knew about their work and considered their statements throughout the DADT repeal process.

And now, with repeal complete, the group met to “come out.” At their meeting in Dallas, forum members considered ways to become an independent organization helping to ensure newly out service members receive the pastoral care they need while serving in the military.

Susan Gore, principle of The Mentor Group and editor of the book Coming Out In Faith, moderated the Dallas conference. She said the group started with several retired military officers “who wanted to push back against the far-right skew.”

Sprinkle has been part of the forum for four years and said he was recruited to participate because of his work on hate crimes.
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Sprinkle said, more and more members of the Chaplain Corps have come from just one school — Liberty

University, founded by far-right evangelical Jerry Falwell. Today, Sprinkle estimated, one-third of military chaplains come from Liberty University.

“They instituted a program that barely meets minimum requirements,” he said of the evangelical school. “It’s an online course.”

And, Sprinkle said, Liberty University’s goal is to take control of the Chaplain Corps and use the military as a pool for religious recruits.

“This is fertile ground to bring people to Jesus at taxpayer expense,” said Tom Carpenter, a retired Marine captain and one of the forum’s founders.

“I’ve heard stories of them holding the hand of someone who’s dying and trying to bring them to Jesus.”

And although such actions contradict military policy, no one in the corps has been disciplined or dismissed for it.

“They give chaplains a lot of leeway,” Carpenter said.

Gainer said the military is looking for well-rounded ministers who bring experience with them to the military.

According to the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School in Fort Jackson, S.C., candidates must be endorsed by their denomination or faith group and be “sensitive to religious pluralism and able to provide for the free exercise of religion by all military personnel, their family members and civilians who work for the Army.”

But Sprinkle said that Liberty University is transparent about its goals, and those goals do not line up.

“They’re not committed to pluralism or serving all the troops,” he said.

Gainer said that the greatest opposition to repealing DADT came from the Chaplain Corps because military chaplains answer to two groups — the military and their denomination. Those chaplains that didn’t adhere to a strict stance of maintaining the ban on gays and lesbians were threatened with losing their accreditation from their endorsing religious body — and with it their livelihood and their pensions.

But that contradicts the stated goals of the Chaplain Corps.

“Someone has to say, ‘Either you comply and serve all the troops all the time or get out,’” Sprinkle said.

Gore said that one of the goals of the newly public forum is to “rebalance the Chaplain Corps by bringing in more mainstream faiths.” She said that for many who come from more liberal traditions, questions of what’s a just war make it hard to serve in the military. Antal, for example, is one of just four Unitarian Universalists in the Chaplain Corps.

During its push for repeal of DADT, members
said, the forum had several successes working behind the scenes.

Despite the assumption of confidentiality between parishioner and clergy, that wasn’t always the case between gay soldier and chaplain. Dodd said that a number of discharges under DADT occurred after a soldier talked to a chaplain and the chaplain turned them in.

In fact, he wrote a white paper on the practice. After he submitted it, the military tightened up on chaplain confidentiality, Dodd said.

Carpenter, an attorney, wrote an amicus brief for the Log Cabin Republicans’ lawsuit against DADT. The court found in favor of declaring DADT unconstitutional, but Congress repealed the law before the decision could be enforced.

Carpenter said that the repeal allows gays and lesbians to serve with no protection. The legal decision, had it not been vacated upon repeal, would have allowed gays and lesbians to serve equally.

Now that DADT is gone, the forum is examining how to ensure LGB personnel receive the same services as other troops from chaplains.

Dodd said that right-wing chaplains charge that allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military will force them to act in ways that go against their beliefs. Some have said they would be required to perform same-sex weddings.

Dodd called that ridiculous. Chaplains are never asked to perform duties that go against their religious beliefs, he said.

“I turned down weddings,” he said. “An officer came to me who wasn’t divorced.”

He said the officer tried to pull strings and force the issue, but Dodd wasn’t going to discuss marrying someone who was still married to someone else.

“But we’re insisting chaplains have the authority, if it’s in keeping with their faith, to marry same-sex couples,” he said.

Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, the repeal provides no family benefits. For some issues, Dodd and Carpenter suggested work-arounds.

Issuing ID cards would be extremely helpful, especially to same-sex couples with children, Carpenter said, noting that “That way either parent could get on base to get a child to the hospital.”

In another example, joint assignments can be offered at the discretion of a commanding officer, and married couples are often assigned together when they both qualify for positions that are available at the same base. Same-sex couples could be given the same priority.

As the forum looks ahead, rebalancing the Chaplain Corps with members from a more diverse background to reflect the membership of the military is a priority.

“And we need to take care of our trans brothers and sisters,” Carpenter said.

The repeal of DADT did not address any transgender issues and does not allow transgender men or women to serve in the military.

Gainer believes representatives of the forum need to sit down with far-right members of the Chaplain Corps and agree to disagree. He said that before the repeal of DADT, they talked to people at Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. While both groups testified against the repeal, they met with some success.

“The president of the VFW in Pflugerville said it was the right thing to do,” Gainer said.

That dialogue, he believed, would help chaplains perform or at least provide a useful referral, rather than doing more damage to a soldier seeking help.

Gore thought that the focus of discussion should be with the majority of chaplains “who want to do a good job and are part of the moveable middle.”

“We have to convince administrators and educators in divinity schools to encourage some of their best and brightest to serve,” Sprinkle said. “So many schools dropped what they were doing during the Vietnam era.”

Antal thinks that gays and lesbians will gain more acceptance as they tell their stories in non-confrontational settings and others see “their identity as professional service members is primary.”

While the work of the forum will concentrate on helping LGB military personnel, creating a more diverse Chaplain Corps may help a majority of service members. Recent polls show that a majority of troops find the chaplaincy irrelevant.

Sprinkle called the work of the forum a gift from the LGBT community to the nation.

“You wouldn’t think we’d be the ones opening the doors so that all troops will be served with dignity, integrity and respect,” he said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 4, 2011.

 

—  Kevin Thomas

Identity Festival today at Gexa

What’s your identity?

Identity Festival, the first-ever exclusively electronic music tour, hits the Big D including queer faves Hercules and Love Affair, pictured, the neo-disco project from New York backed by gay DJ Andy Butler. Steve Aoki, The Crystal Method and Nervo also perform at the all-day event.

DEETS: Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 First Ave. 1 p.m. $35. Ticketmaster.com..

—  Rich Lopez

Steve Crowston’s Navy Commander Dubbed Him ‘Fagmeister’ + ‘Romo’s Bitch.’ Now Who’s The Bitch?

Ensign Steve Crowston, a junior Navy officer, didn't appreciate being nicknamed "gay boy" and "fagmeister" by comrades and senior officers, so he filed a harassment complaint last February — and saw his case dismissed in May. Bullshit, thought Crowston, who filed an appeal two months later, and added to his complaint that he was since subject to retaliation over his initial complaint. Things just came down in his favor. Finally.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  David Taffet

News: Steve Jobs, Mammoth, Facebook, J Lo, Pennsylvania, NOM

Road President Obama's Martin Luther King Jr. Day proclamation.

RoadFacebook now sharing your home address with developers: "A post on Saturday by Jeff Bowen in Facebook's developer support team explained that users' addresses and mobile phone numbers are being made available on the development platform through a number of APIs."

Jobs RoadSteve Jobs taking second medical leave of absence from Apple: "At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company. I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple's day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011. I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy."

RoadJake Gyllenhaal's Golden Globes date.

RoadHopes dim for statewide LGBT anti-discrimination laws in Pennsylvania.

RoadGay activists in Australia accuse New South Wales' leading HIV/AIDS health service of squandering millions of dollars in taxpayer money: "Gay rights campaigner Gary Burns, HIV lobbyist Shayne Chester and journalist Peter Hackney have demanded the state government 'demolish' ACON, formerly known as the AIDS Council of NSW. The trio alleged the service, which specialises in HIV prevention, care and support, received .6 million in government funding last year but spent only 0,000 on programs and services."

RoadFresh beef hits the Globes red carpet.

Mammoth RoadJapanese scientist says he can clone Wooly Mammoth.

RoadNew England Republicans warming to marriage equality?

RoadGabrielle Giffords now breathing on her own.

RoadIrish-Brazilian couple are first to have civil partnership recognized: "Cunningham and Vilar, a Brazilian citizen, held their civil partnership ceremony in Northern Ireland last year. Ireland officially began to recognise civil partnership in the Republic on 13 January 2011 – and that date was also the very day the couple visited the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service to try to sort out Vilar’s residency."

RoadListen: J Lo's cover of a classic Bananarama track.

RoadMale model fix: Julian Schratter.

Cathlics RoadNOM suggests that same-sex marriage supporters are vandalizing Catholic churches.

RoadCameroon government upset that EU is funding LGBT groups: "The EU is funding the 'Project for Assistance and Guidance to Sexual Minorities' with €300,000. The project is backed by the associations Sid'ado, Cofenho (the Collective of Families of children with homosexuals), and Association to Defend Homosexuals (ADEFHO), the main LGBT rights group founded by Alice Nkom, a well-known Cameroonian lawyer."

RoadStudent at Halton Catholic school in Ontario, Canada speaks out for Gay-Straight Alliances: "My school is not very open. Most kids just don’t come out. They’re afraid. When I came out in Grade 9, I was bullied pretty bad. It would have been really nice to have a GSA for support…Kids should be able to call the group what it is and use the word 'gay' in the title. A GSA means acceptance. It means kids are not alone. It means they are not shunned."


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Shameless Journey video break: Steve Perry surfaces at Giants game 5 NLCS

Steve Perry sightings are rare, you know. Since he effectively retired from performing after Journey’s 1996 Trial By Fire album, you rarely hear from “The Voice” — or see him for that matter. Those rare sightings for Perry loyalists usually means more fantasies of him coming out of retirement. Note to the die-hards: I don’t see it happening. He (and his voice) can’t live up to expectations of 1980s SP. Just hit repeat on your MP3s and treasure that. I do.

It’s nice to see him happy and exuberant cheering on his beloved S.F. Giants with the crowd.

As far as the current iteration of Journey is concerned, the word is that a new album (with fantastic current lead singer Arnel Pineda) is going to be out in March 2011, with a world tour following. I’m a member of the Arnel Pineda fan site (he’s a really nice guy); go ahead and laugh — it’s like being 16 again, except at least there are more people in the group that are my age than I expected. The only other fan group I belong to is for L&O: SVU, so that makes two obsessions other than politics; the diversion keeps me centered if a bit eccentric. But you already knew I was a bit out of the ordinary…

So I’m putting the word out now — anyone out there who has connections to get badass concert seats (and a backstage pass) for me, you now know how to make this blogmistress really happy. :)

Related:

* Blogmistress music overload: my Journey immersion weekend
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Greater Cincinnati HRC Members Support HRC-Endorsed Steve Driehaus for Congress

HRC members and friends in Cincinnati know how important it is to re-elect Steve Driehaus.  Elected in 2008, Driehaus beat a Republican incumbent who had a zero percent rating on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard.   As Steve Newsom, Political-Co Chair of HRC’s Greater Cincinnati Steering Committee, put it in his introduction of Driehaus at the fundraiser:  “Steve Driehaus is one of the best allies the LGBT community has known in Congress.  When it came time to vote for the Hate Crimes law passed by Congress and signed by the President, he not only voted for it, but co-sponsored it.  On DADT, he not only voted for it, but co-sponsored it.  On ENDA he’s pledged to vote for it, but also is a co-sponsor.  We have the chance to re-elect one of our greatest allies in Congress and also to defeat an outspoken opponent of LGBT rights.”

It’s critical that Steve Driehaus return to the U.S. Congress and that’s why HRC is doing all it can to get him re-elected—including holding events, recruiting volunteers to talk to voters and sending additional HRC staff to fuel his campaign.  Please join us in this effort by contacting Regional Field Director, Karin Quimby who has been on the ground in Ohio since September working to elect all fair-minded candidates in Ohio.  To volunteer, please email:  karin.quimby@hrc.org.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC and authorized by Driehaus for Congress.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Watch: Equality California Ads Against Meg Whitman, Steve Cooley

Whitman

Equality California takes on GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and attorney general candidate Steve Cooley in two new ads.

Writes journalist Rex Wockner in a tip to us: "Better late than never, EQCA learns to play the hardball TV-ad game. Nobody ever said this game is pretty, but if you want to stop losing, you need to play the game that actually exists, not the 'freedom-justice-equality-fairness-warm-fuzzies' game you wish existed. This is the first time, that I know of, that the gay side has decided to play hardball in TV ads about same-sex marriage. Interestingly, these ads were produced entirely in-house at EQCA: No consultants, no 'experts,' no fear."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP





Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright