H.R. No. 750
         WHEREAS, Family and friends are mourning the loss of John
  Paul Barnich of Houston, who died on February 2, 2009, at the age of
  63; and
         WHEREAS, John Barnich was born to Aileen and Bill Barnich,
  Jr., of Cheboygan, Michigan, on September 25, 1945, and grew up on
  nearby Mullett Lake; he earned a bachelor's degree in psychology
  from Michigan State University in 1968; and
         WHEREAS, After moving to Houston in 1969, Mr. Barnich taught
  for 10 years in the Houston Independent School District; he was a
  gifted and energetic teacher, designing a psychology program for
  the district and working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  to create a pilot program in police administration, which grew into
  the HISD High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice; and
         WHEREAS, Mr. Barnich was a student council sponsor and a
  building steward for the Houston Federation of Teachers; he was
  recognized by Waltrip High School in 1973 as an Outstanding Young
  Educator, and in 1978, he earned a Teacher of the Year Achievement
  Award; and
         WHEREAS, In 1977, Mr. Barnich spent six months in India
  studying comparative religion as a Fulbright scholar; returning to
  Texas, he earned his law degree from South Texas College of Law in
  1980, and he opened his practice in 1981; he worked for Houston
  Volunteer Lawyers and was a founder of the Bar Association for Human
  Rights; he also lectured on the law for Thurgood Marshall School of
  Law, Texas Southern University, the Texas Human Rights Foundation,
  and the Houston Bar Association; and
         WHEREAS, Mr. Barnich was a pioneering activist on behalf of
  the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people; he
  took on much pro bono work on behalf of the GLBT community, and one
  of his cases was joined by the U.S. Department of Justice and
  resulted in people with AIDS being included in the Americans with
  Disabilities Act; in another case, he effected an important change
  in the way dentists treat people with AIDS; and
         WHEREAS, A cofounder of AIDS Foundation Houston, Mr. Barnich
  served as chair of the organization's board from 1990 to 1994;
  during his tenure, he helped obtain a major community development
  grant for AIDS housing, and developed a grant for AIDS education in
  the county Juvenile Detention Center; he also served on the board of
  the AIDS Equity League from 1988 to 1992 and played an active role
  in the Houston GLBT Political Caucus; and
         WHEREAS, In 1999, Mr. Barnich was appointed to be Houston's
  first openly gay municipal judge, and he served with distinction in
  that post until 2007; he continued to serve as a part-time
  adjudication hearing officer until his death; and
         WHEREAS, For his efforts in behalf of equality and social
  justice, Mr. Barnich was named the Texas Human Rights Foundation
  Advocate of the Year in 1992, and two years later, he earned the
  Humanitarian Award from the Conference on AIDS in America; he was
  also recognized with the Houston Humanitarian Award and the
  Humanitarian Award from the GLBT Political Caucus; and
         WHEREAS, Mr. Barnich possessed a ready wit; when he was asked
  how being gay would make him different from other municipal judges,
  he quipped that he would upgrade the courtroom sound system to play
  show tunes; a sign on his office door read, "Be nice or leave"; and
         WHEREAS, An outspoken champion for the causes he believed in,
  John Barnich worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others, and
  his legacy will long resonate in the community that he loved; now,
  therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 81st Texas
  Legislature hereby pay tribute to the life of the Honorable John
  Paul Barnich and extend sincere condolences to the members of his
  family: to his brothers, Rick Barnich and Bill Barnich III; to his
  sisters, Mary Barnich and Martha Jo Vanderberg; and to his other
  relatives and many friends; and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be
  prepared for his family and that when the Texas House of
  Representatives adjourns this day, it do so in memory of John
  Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.R. No. 750 was unanimously adopted by a
  rising vote of the House on March 19, 2009.
  Chief Clerk of the House