LGBT

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

State Senate rejects expanding domestic abuse protections to same-sex couples

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 1:41 PM

ROBERT ASHWORTH / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • ROBERT ASHWORTH / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

The state’s domestic abuse laws will continue to exclude same-sex couples after a bill to extend the law’s protections failed in a 17-14 Senate vote. But the measure may not be dead.

House Bill 27 by State Rep. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, proposed striking “of the opposite sex” from the law’s definition of a household member to extend domestic abuse protections — such as sentencing enhancements for abusers and greater protections for victims — to same-sex couples. Currently the law only applies to married couples, whether same-sex or heterosexual, and heterosexual couples who are cohabiting.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bills on minimum wage, LGBT non-discrimination move to full state Senate for consideration

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 2:35 PM

State Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, author of Senate Bill 153, which would increase the state minimum wage to $8.50 by 2019, and Senate Bill 155, which would enact a non-discrimination act for Louisiana employees. - PHOTO BY CAITIE BURKES
  • PHOTO BY CAITIE BURKES
  • State Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, author of Senate Bill 153, which would increase the state minimum wage to $8.50 by 2019, and Senate Bill 155, which would enact a non-discrimination act for Louisiana employees.

The Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations on Wednesday favorably moved two bills by Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans — one to increase the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour by 2019 and the other to enact a non-discrimination policy for Louisiana employees who identify as LGBT.

Senate Bill 153, which was approved for full Senate debate on a 4-2 vote, would increase the state’s minimum wage from the federal minimum hourly wage of $7.25 to $8 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2018, and $8.50 beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

Senate Bill 155 carried 3-1, with committee chairman Neil Riser opposing. It would enact the Louisiana Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would add language to existing law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

'Sugar in Your Tank' queer storytelling event is May 11

Posted By on Tue, May 9, 2017 at 10:00 AM

PHOTO BY ROBERT ASHWORTH / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • PHOTO BY ROBERT ASHWORTH / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

Bring Your Own
and Last Call, the queer history archive and performance collective, will co-host an outdoor storytelling event at LGBT Community Center May 11. "Sugar in Your Tank: Stories of Queer Resistance" features stories by eight LGBT folks around the theme of organizing and activism. A Facebook post announcing the event promises the "cutest (gayest) story slam ever."

This event also will be recorded for a resistance-themed episode of Last Call's podcast. It's all part of the organization's "Queer Histories//Queer Futures" initiative, which hosts workshops and salons in an effort to compile and preserve LGBT oral histories.

Chairs will be provided at the event, and food and drinks are available for purchase. The event takes place from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. It's free to attend.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Louisiana House votes in favor of amendment to add same-sex couples to domestic abuse protections

Posted By on Wed, May 3, 2017 at 1:50 PM

State Rep. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, presents his bill which qualifies partnerships, including same-sex couples, for legal protection and assistance in cases of domestic abuse.  The measure was approved 54-42. - SARAH GAMARD
  • SARAH GAMARD
  • State Rep. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, presents his bill which qualifies partnerships, including same-sex couples, for legal protection and assistance in cases of domestic abuse. The measure was approved 54-42.

The Louisiana House voted 54-42 Tuesday and sent to the Senate an amendment to state law that would qualify same-sex couples for legal protection and assistance in cases of domestic abuse.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Today in Confederate camping: Flag vs. Flag

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:57 PM

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The ongoing Confederate-defense encampment at the Jefferson Davis statue in Mid-City is beginning to exert its own weird, Endymion-like fascination (though with more Auld Dixie flavor and less spray-painted territoriality).

Spotted today: Six statue defenders joined by one fellow in a rainbow-flag cape and a sign reading "NOT MY PRES" — while what look to be AirBnB Jazz Festers wait on the neutral ground for the streetcar and the folks at Holy Ground bar across the street get a free show.

Happy Friday, New Orleans.


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Report: homeless youth face high risk of human trafficking

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 5:50 PM

Every year, public officials and others sleep on the sidewalk outside Covenant House to raise awareness of youth homelessness. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Every year, public officials and others sleep on the sidewalk outside Covenant House to raise awareness of youth homelessness.

Nearly one in five young people experiencing homelessness were the victims of human trafficking, according to a report from Loyola University New Orleans' Modern Slavery Research Project. The project team interviewed 641 "homeless and runaway youth" between ages 17-24 who had received care from Covenant House shelters, transitional living centers, apartment programs and drop-in centers at 10 North American cities, including New Orleans.

The report — using a federal definition of human trafficking as "the use of force, fraud or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in labor or sex trade against their will" — found that 19 percent (124 people) of respondents were victims of trafficking. Fourteen percent of respondents were trafficked for sex, and more than half of those victims say they were forced or coerced to do so.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

French Quarter Easter parades (slideshow)

Posted By on Sun, Apr 16, 2017 at 10:45 PM


Is there any holiday New Orleans can't turn into a bewigged, costumed, mascara-d, glittery bacchanal? One hopes not. Sunday's afternoon parades — the Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade and the Gay Easter Parade — were true to typical form, with riders in delightfully immoderate hats stacked with a Hobby Lobby's worth of plastic eggs, faux butterflies, bird's nests, carrots, stuffed bunnies and more. There also were plenty of rabbit ears, yards of seersucker and armloads of fake diamonds worn by riders in drag, which winked in the last rays of sunlight as the day became more overcast.

A few photos from Sunday are above.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Report: Louisianans support anti-discrimination protections for transgender people, but not bathroom access

Posted By on Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 4:00 PM

A rally in Jackson Square following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.
  • A rally in Jackson Square following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

The results of a survey of more than 1,000 Louisianans illustrates the continuing, deep divide among people who believe LGBT people deserve protections from discrimination and those who do not.

The Louisiana Survey from LSU’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication found that a majority of respondents believe transgender people deserve protections from discrimination in the workplace — but don’t believe transgender people should be able to use bathrooms according to their gender identity.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents agreed transgender people should be protected from workplace discrimination, a move supported by an executive order from Gov. John Bel Edwards which mandates that state contracts include language that prohibits discrimination against LGBT employees. That order — prompted by the state Legislature’s inability to pass similar measures to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBT people — was tossed out by state courts following a lawsuit from frequent Edwards opponent and Republican state Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Respondents who agreed to workplace protections for LGBT people included 83 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Variety show and film screening April 14 highlight trans rights

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 10:01 AM

A performer at last year's "Freaks of a Feather" show. - COURTESY TSSHAG
  • COURTESY TSSHaG
  • A performer at last year's "Freaks of a Feather" show.

Two events in New Orleans April 14 spotlight transgender rights, an increasingly high-profile issue in the city and nationwide.

Tulane Society for Sexuality, Health and Gender hosts a variety show at Cafe Istanbul to benefit BreakOUT!, the advocacy group for LGBTQ youth of color. "Freaks of a Feather" offers drag, burlesque, comedy and cabaret acts; admission is based on a sliding scale but participants are encouraged to donate generously. The show begins at 7 p.m.

At 9:15 p.m., BreakOUT! sponsors a screening of Free CeCe!, a documentary about transgender prison-reform activist CeCe McDonald. McDonald and director Jacqueline Gares also attend the screening at the Broad Theater in association with PATOIS: New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival. Tickets are $8-$10.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

LGBT health care symposium April 10 highlights community's unique needs

Posted By on Fri, Apr 7, 2017 at 9:37 AM

ROBERT ASHWORTH / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • ROBERT ASHWORTH / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

A symposium hosted by LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine April 10 will call attention to health care issues for people who identify as LGBT. A panel, which includes doctors, an attorney and LGBT Community Center director Sebastian Rey, will touch on topics including transgender medicine, reproductive care for LGBT couples and expectations for providers.

In a city with one of the nation's highest percentages of (self-identified) LGBT folks, New Orleans organizations recently have been making strides toward community resource-building. The LGBT Community Center staged a grand reopening in February, and LGBT elder care network NOAGE kicked off a health care provider network to help both seniors and doctors work with the community. NOPD recently designated a liaison for LGBT outreach, and a heavily attended town hall highlighted policy suggestions from transgender women to New Orleans City Council members.

The health care symposium begins at 6:30 p.m. at the medical school's Medical Education Building (1901 Perdido St.). It's open to the public and free to attend.

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