Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 16, No. 44, Ed. 1 Friday, March 3, 2000 Page: 10 of 102
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Rev. Michael Piazza
If a white radio talk-show personality had called
African-Americans “a biological error” or made
similar remarks about women or Hispanics, what
do you think the reaction would be? I hope it
would be outrage. Since these remarks were direct-
ed at lesbian and gay people, this radio talk-show
host has been rewarded with her own TV show.
Excuse me? How long are we going to tolerate
this kind of injustice? For Paramount to give
Laura SchJessinger a television show from which
to attack lesbian and gay people is intolerable. For
the lesbigay community to not rise up as one and
stop it is irresponsible at best. You and I may be
able to ignore “Dr. Laura” and her arrogant pro-
• what about the teenagers who are still struggling with self-acceptance?
• what about your parents who may just be coming around? What will they
think when they hear Dr. Laura equate being gay with pedophilia?
• what about your future boss who isnlt so sure they want to promote a les-
bian or gay person and is looking for support for their homophobia?
• what about the millions of fair-minded Americans who have begun to recon-
sider their prejudice?
Now we put on national TV a person who presents herself as an authority though
her Ph.D. is really in physiology. Her anti-gay attitude may not impact your life, but
for once we need to consider the well-being of others. We need to take responsibili-
ty for our children and the world in which they grow up, come-out and make a life.
You CAN do something to stop this. Go to the website www.stopdrlaura.com and
learn more about how to take action. Call, write and email Paramount. Remember,
to them it us only about money. Let them know it will cost them. And yesterday I
checked out the good Dr. for myself and discovered that one of her radio sponsors
was Travelocity. Wait just a minute, aren’t they owned by Sabre (the former com-
puter subsidiary of American Airlines)? That means they are based here in Dallas.
So who do I know at Sabre (besides my husband who is a systems analyst there)?
Who do you know there? Perhaps if we let Travelocity know how unhappy we are,
they might reconsider sponsoring homophobes. Don’t misunderstand me. They
have every right to sponsor whomever they choose, but then I have every right to
use their company, or not.
As a Christian, I believe it is my moral obligation to leave this place better than I
found it. I don’t know any way to make yourself more miserable than to make
life all about YOU. Here is something specific and concrete we can do for those
who come after us. Let’s do it. We will all sleep better at night knowing we have
made a difference.
P.S. Lent begins this Wednesday. Join us at the Cathedral of Hope as we get our
souls ready for spring and the joy of Easter.
5910 Cedar Springs • Dallas, TX 75235 • 214.351.1901 • 800.501.HOPE (4673)
www.cathedralofhope.com • email@example.com
Join us for an incredible new Lenten series, “Making Peace With
the Pieces of Your Life,” Saturday nights at 6 p.m.
Free gay death row
inmate, judge orders
By Gip Plaster
After 16 years on death row and enduring
anti-gay slurs from a prosecutor and a defense
attorney who slept through much of his 1984
murder trial, gay death row inmate Calvin
Burdine could be set free on Monday.
A federal judge ordered his release, ruling
Wednesday that the state missed an earlier
deadline to either set Burdine free or retry him
for killing his roommate and former boyfriend.
The American Civil Liberties Union has
cited the case in calling on Texas Gov. George
W. Bush to impose an immediate moratorium
on the death penalty in the state.
Last fall, the federal judge, U.S. District
Judge David Hittner, agreed that Burdine's
former defense attorney provided inadequate
counsel. Fiittner threw out Burdine's convic-
tion, giving the state 120 days to either retry or
The state failed to do either. On Wednesday,
Hittner said he had no choice but to enforce his
original order, and demanded that Burdine be
released within five days.
"I would assume that the state is going to
do everything in their power to avoid carrying
out Judge Hittner's order," Robert McGlasson,
one of Burdine's attorneys, said from his
Atlanta office. "Basically, he ordered that
Calvin be released. I think this court's order is
right on with the law."
In Wednesday's order, Hittner appeared to
be irritated with state prosecutors.
"Throughout its brief, the state seeks to
minimize its failure to comply with established
procedural rules as 'excusable neglect.'
However, a similar procedural error by
defense counsel in a capital case could result in
a defendant's execution," Hittner wrote.
The judge also pointed to Burdine's good
behavior during 16 years in prison as evidence
that he would not be a danger to society.
"Moreover, Burdine suffers irreparable
harm each day that he is imprisoned in viola-
tion of the United States Constitution," the
The Texas Attorney General's office said it
will ask the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in
New Orleans to block the release.
And if the appeals court fails to act, local
officials may step in and re-arrest Burdine,
according to Harris County District Attorney
John B. Holmes.
"We're going to tread water until March 6
while the attorney general works his magic in
the 5th Circuit," Holmes told the Houston
Chronicle. "If they won't consider the appeal on
an emergency basis, [prison officials] will
unlock the door and let Burdine free. Our
standby position will move him to the Harris
Holmes said Burdine will be re-arrested on
the same 1983 indictment under which he was
charged with killing his roommate.
But Hittner's ruling leaves doubt about
whether that's possible. The judge cited an
appellate rule that a prisoner be freed on per-
sonal recognizance while a release order is
Burdine's 1984 trial was ruled invalid by
Hittner in September because of overwhelm-
ing evidence that Burdine's then-lawyer Joe
Cannon, who died in 1998, slept through large
portions of the trial.
In response, attorneys for the state
appealed the judge's order without asking the
judge to stay, or suspend, the judgment.
Hittner's 120 day limit expired on Jan. 27.
Hittner said Wednesday that he could not
modify the retry-or-release order he issued in
September. But Hittner also said that a new
trial would not violate Burdine's constitution-
"This is a wonderful development for Texas
in that there is someone looking out for the cit-
izens and trying to keep them alive in the face
of bad lawyering," William Moffitt, president
of the National Association of Criminal
Defense Attorneys, told The New York Times.
Continued on Page 12
VOTE ON MARCH
"I will protect the rights of all people... with integrity, professionalism, fairness
Member: Dallas County Democratic Party • Dallas Democratic Forum •
Stonewall Democrats • Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance • Oak Cliff
Chamber of Commerce
Endorsed by: Stonewall Democrats • DGLA - PAC
Hon. Terri Hod^e - State Rep., Dist. 100
Let our voice be heard - VOTE on ELECTION DAY!
POL AD PAIO fOP BY DUPREE FOR CONSIABlf CAMPAIGN, <OOS. TANG. /909. DAUASIX 7S208, AAL MALDONADO, TREASURER. 214 941.5752
MARCH 3, 2000
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 16, No. 44, Ed. 1 Friday, March 3, 2000, newspaper, March 3, 2000; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth615497/m1/10/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.