Friday, March 23, 2018

Louisiana Supreme Court halts Gov. Edwards' order to protect LGBT workers from discrimination

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 5:47 PM

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. - PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.

The Louisiana Supreme Court has sided with Attorney General Jeff Landry in his challenge against Gov. John Bel Edwards' executive order to protect state government workers from discrimination against their gender or sexual orientation. The court's 4-3 decision to not take up Edwards' appeal of a lower court ruling.

In a statement, Edwards said while he accepts the ruling, he's disappointed in the decision, which rejects protections for state workers and people in services provided by state agencies from discrimination on the "basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, disability, or age."

"That disappointment is only overshadowed by my frustration that the courts believe that discrimination is something we should tolerate in Louisiana," he said. "I, for one, do not think discrimination of any kind has a place in our society, much less the workplace. More importantly, Louisiana’s diversity is what makes it the greatest state in the union. Unfortunately, this puts us on the wrong side of history."

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Politically themed drag show Extra opens at AllWays March 27

Posted By on Tue, Mar 20, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Drag performer Quinn Laroux as a "Gulf Coast oil spill mermaid."
  • Drag performer Quinn Laroux as a "Gulf Coast oil spill mermaid."

"Especially right now, everything in the news is just getting more and more ridiculous," says drag performer and producer Quinn Laroux, mentioning a recent tossed-off presidential remark about a military space force. "With drag, you're already starting on a note that's a little ridiculous to begin with."

That idea — commenting on the food-processed 2018 news cycle through the excesses and outrageousness of drag — is one Laroux has had for a while. In more satirical, conceptual performances, she's performed a reggae-based number that skewered cultural appropriation and sent up Kendall Jenner's racially-tinged Pepsi ad fiasco to "Where Is the Love?" With Extra: A Political Drag Cabaret, Laroux brings an entire show's worth of political drag and variety acts to AllWays Lounge & Cabaret March 27.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Louisiana equal pay protections, minimum wage increase clear Senate committee

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 3:36 PM


Baton Rouge lawmakers have moved forward a package of bills that aim to end gender-based pay disparities, establish a statewide minimum wage and combat workplace discrimination.

The state Senate's Labor and Industrial Relations committee on March 15 advanced seven bills from New Orleans Sens. J.P. Morrell and Troy Carter, who were joined by Gov. John Bel Edwards urging approval for the measures listed among his legislative priorities this session. The bills now head to the full state Senate.

Carter's Senate Bill 162 would establish an hourly minimum wage of $8 beginning in 2019, which would then increase to $8.50 in 2020. Louisiana is among five states that that have not set a minimum wage above the federal minimum of $7.25.

Morrell's Senate Bill 117 requires companies that contract with the state to adhere to the state's Equal Pay Law, and his Senate Bill 149 prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees for discussing wages — an effort to promote wage transparency and highlight pay discrepancies that breach protections for equal pay for equal work.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Art exhibit highlights costumes of women, people of color and historically marginalized New Orleans groups

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 12:09 PM


An exhibit opening at Antenna Feb. 2 celebrates costuming among historically marginalized groups in New Orleans, including women, LGBT people and people of color.

"King for a Day" is curated by Zibby Jahns and Lindsey Phillips and includes four installations representing costumes that are worn by various New Orleans communities, such as Baby Doll marching groups, Lords of Leather and punk and DIY groups. The costumes are displayed among fabrics and materials artisans and crafters commonly incorporate in those garments.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Dynamo Toys, woman- and LGBT-friendly adult accessories shop, opens on St. Claude

Posted By on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 4:12 PM


With its robin's egg-blue walls and colorful merchandise displayed inside a converted St. Claude Avenue shotgun, Dynamo Toys & Supplies (2001 St. Claude Ave.) could be any New Orleans boutique — until you notice the iridescent purple harnesses, or the rack of leather floggers, or the library of books with titles like 50 Shades of Kink and Naked at Our Age (Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex).

After more than four years of preparation, which included pop-up events and sex-positive workshops throughout the city, partners Hope Kodman and Nico Darling have opened what they say is the city's first adult accessory and toy store designed by — and for — women. The shop offers a curated selections of products meant to enhance the sex lives of clients of all genders, in a clean, welcoming space that is the opposite of seedy or cheesy Bourbon Street sex shops.

"We want to be a space ... that people would be proud to come into, and be seen leaving with a bag in hand," Kodman says. "[Where people] won't feel intimidated, and simply feel like they can talk."

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

NOAGE hosts 'LGBT Health and Aging' symposium Dec. 2

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 1:11 PM


New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders (NOAGE) and Ochsner Pride host a symposium on LGBT health and aging Dec. 2.

The symposium, which targets doctors, nurses, social workers, caretakers and other health care professionals, includes topics such as creating a welcoming environment in health care settings, aging with HIV, transgender health care, legal issues and other matters relevant to LGBT seniors. Serena Worthington, who directs national LGBT elders association Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), is the keynote speaker.

There's also a screening of Gen Silent, a documentary that follows the lives of several older LGBT people.

The program is part of NOAGE's continued advocacy work, much of which centers around health care. Since this spring, executive director Jim Meadows says the organization has provided 200 "cultural competency" trainings to providers to help them better serve their LGBT patients. NOAGE estimates that there are 20,000 older LGBT people living in the greater New Orleans area.

The symposium takes place Dec. 2 at Ochsner Health System's Jefferson Highway campus. It's free to attend, and continuing education credits are available for participants. Contact NOAGE to register.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Bianca del Rio coming to Orpheum Theater in March 2018

Posted By on Mon, Nov 6, 2017 at 11:16 AM

Bianca del Rio.
  • Bianca del Rio.

New Orleans' homegrown insult comic Bianca del Rio returns to town March 3, 2018 for a show at the Orpheum Theater. It's just one stop on her "Blame it on Bianca del Rio" tour, which is covering five continents in a little less than a year.

Del Rio (the creation/alter ego of Roy Haylock) last appeared in New Orleans at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in 2016 on her "Not Today, Satan" tour. She first appeared on Gambit's cover in 2002 in a profile by David Lee Simmons, and then in 2014 after winning RuPaul's Drag Race.

Tickets are on sale now ($39-$123), and Ticketmaster says this is an all-ages show, which seems insane on the face of it if you've ever seen Bianca's act, but you never know about New Orleans kids, I suppose.
Location Details The Orpheum Theater
The Orpheum Theater
129 University Place
Central Business District
New Orleans, LA
(504) 274-4871

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Court rules Gov. Edwards can't protect LGBT workers from discrimination

Posted By on Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 4:02 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards.
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards.

A Louisiana appeals court ruling has sided with state Attorney General Jeff Landry, who challenged a 2016 executive order from Gov. John Bel Edwards that bans discrimination against LGBT people in government and state contracts. The three-judge panel sided with a lower court ruling from late last year.

“I have said repeatedly that discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this decision does not change my conviction that hiring decisions in state government should be based on merit alone," Edwards said in a statement. "Discrimination in state government and by state contractors is wrong, makes us weaker, and is bad for business and economic development. Even President Trump agrees, as he has kept in place a federal executive order which is virtually identical to the order I put in place. I went a step further and provided an exemption for certain religious organizations."

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Southern Decadence events and parties scheduled this weekend

Posted By on Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 12:00 PM


Southern Decadence, New Orleans' exuberant annual celebration of LGBT culture, returns this weekend. Once you've assembled your ensemble (your glitter makeup, your hot pants, your rainbow pasties, your leather-and-metal harness), here's a five-day calendar of official and unofficial parties, drag shows and events to attend — including the don't-miss-it bawdy parade that takes place in the French Quarter Sunday.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rip Naquin, LGBT leader and publisher of Ambush Magazine, dies at 65

Posted By on Wed, Aug 9, 2017 at 5:51 PM

Rip Naquin (left) and Marsha Delain served as grand marshals of the 2015 Southern Decadence Parade.
  • Rip Naquin (left) and Marsha Delain served as grand marshals of the 2015 Southern Decadence Parade.

Rip Naquin, co-founder of Ambush Magazine, organizer of the annual Southern Decadence celebration and a leader in the LGBT community, died Tuesday, Aug. 8 after an illness. He was 65.

Naquin and spouse Marsha Delain founded Ambush in Baton Rouge in 1982 and later brought it with them when they moved to New Orleans. Ambush covers New Orleans' LGBT community. They also worked together organizing Decadence, the annual Labor Day weekend celebration in the French Quarter, and were deeply involved in charity work.

Naquin and Delain, also known as Martin Greeson, become the state's first legally recognized gay couple in 1993 when the city of New Orleans allowed couples to register as domestic partners, though that conferred no legal rights. They were married in New York City on Aug. 17, 2013.

Funeral services include a visitation at 10 a.m. and Mass at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12 at Our Lady of Guadalupe (411 N. Rampart St.).

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