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Bobby Jindal Defends AFA Prayer Rally At LSU As Anti-Gay Hate Group Plans Similar Events In Other States: VIDEO

Jindal

Last week we reported that LSU students are organizing protests and other events in response to "The Response," a prayer rally to be hosted by the American Family Association — an anti-LGBT hate group — on the university's campus January 24. 

Since then, the LSU Faculty Senate has issued a strongly worded condemnation of "The Response," which will be headlined by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal (above) as he prepares to kick off his 2016 presidential campaign. The Faculty Senate said although it doesn't appear the university can legally deny the rental of space to the AFA, the rally is "inconsistent with the goals and aspirations of a great university":

The Faculty Senate has made use of its extensive media resources to focus public attention on this matter. ... In all of these interview opportunities, Faculty Senate representatives have stressed that the “Response” event both damages the University and conflicts with its values, whether by associating intolerance with University venues or interfering with the goal of disseminating the best in science. ... 

The story of “The Response” is far from over, but I do want to assure the LSU and the statewide higher education community that the LSU Faculty Senate is working vigorously to assist the administration not only in repairing the damage resulting from this event but also in using it as an educational, formative opportunity.

Despite widespread opposition from students and faculty at LSU, Jindal continues to defend holding "The Response" on campus. The other day, he insisted the rally is "not a political event, it's a religious event":

"Christians have the right to rent, to pay for a hall at a public university so they can come together and pray," Jindal told reporters at an economic development announcement in New Orleans.

Asked if he agreed with the American Family Association's agenda, Jindal sidestepped that question and said, "The left likes to try to divide and attack Christians."

Jindal said the protesters themselves should consider joining the prayer rally. He said they "might benefit from prayer."

Meanwhile, in addressing criticism of the event, AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer continues to suggest that gays are to blame for natural disasters. The website for "The Response" initially included a prayer guide blaming gays, abortion and pornography for Hurricane Katrina, but it was quickly removed. However, Fischer told The Times-Picayune:  

Fischer"We do know that natural disasters can be a form of God's judgement on an unrepentant nation. It's fitting that a part of the country that is obviously at risk for natural disasters would lead the nation in modeling repentance."

The AFA's David Lane told The Times-Picayune that "The Response" is the first in a series of similar events the group is planning next year, and he hinted that other possible headliners include perennial GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum. 

Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry headlined an AFA prayer rally in Houston in 2011 to kick off his presidential campaign, so we assume Perry and GOP Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will be fighting over the Lone Star State's AFA hatefest next year. 

Ultimately, though, these events may only backfire by galvanizing progressive opposition in places where they're held, such as in Baton Rouge. A reader poll on The Times-Picayune website shows that 66 percent of respondents believe "The Response" should be held at a private building or church. 

Watch Jindal's invitation to "The Response," AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Bobby Jindal Defends AFA Prayer Rally At LSU As Anti-Gay Hate Group Plans Similar Events In Other States: VIDEO" »


102 Hot Shots on Bourbon Street at Gay Halloween New Orleans: PHOTOS

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Last weekend, Towleroad hit The Big Easy for Halloween New Orleans!

We were so excited to participate this year as a media sponsor and our crew was headquartered outside OZ bar each day at the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann Streets in the French Quarter where the revelry that New Orleans is famous for continued day and night.

2014-10-26 19.29.14Our Bourbon Street gallery features photos we took in and around the gayest intersection in NOLA, and inside OZ bar. We were happy to meet so many Towleroad readers and look forward to see you again next year.

Also, coming up shortly we'll have galleries of both the Friday night NEON party at Republic nightclub and the main 'Descent' costume ball where there was plenty of sexiness, skin, drag, and devilry to be found.

Halloween New Orleans is one of the largest and most amazing party events of the season and the weekend, now in its 31st year, is one of the only 100% donation/volunteer event weekends left in the U.S.. Project Lazarus, a home in New Orleans which provides healthcare and support services for men and women with AIDS, is the sole beneficiary of all the funds that are raised.

The weekend includes four days of events including a black tie ball, two big parties, and a brunch and a traditional brass band Second Line parade through the city.

Check out 102 photos from Bourbon Street, AFTER THE JUMP...

STAY TUNED: Galleries of the NEON party and Halloween Costume Ball coming soon!

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Continue reading "102 Hot Shots on Bourbon Street at Gay Halloween New Orleans: PHOTOS" »


Join Towleroad in New Orleans for Halloween!

Nolatlrd

Do you have your costume picked out for Halloween yet?

How about joining Towleroad at Halloween New Orleans for a weekend of festive, sexy, and spooky events from October 23-26?

Halloween New Orleans is one of the largest and most amazing party events of the season and the weekend, now in its 31st year, is one of the only 100% donation/volunteer event weekends left in the U.S.. Project Lazarus, a home in New Orleans which provides healthcare and support services for men and women with AIDS, is the sole beneficiary of all the funds that are raised.

HnopicMeet up with us! We'll be there and don't want you to miss a thing! "RSVPnola" with us AFTER THE JUMP and we'll keep you in-the-know with insider tips, a guide to special events, and information you can use for your weekend in the Big Easy.

Sign up AFTER THE JUMP and be sure to look for our camp cart at the events and all weekend on Bourbon Street in front of OZ to get some great free stuff and have your official pictures taken. We're holding a costume contest with the photos shot by our team so find us and make sure we get your photo.

Here are this year's events and you can get tickets at this link:

Thursday: The Lazarus Ball
Presented by Boomtown Casino New Orleans
US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center at WWII
7:30-11pm
Silent Auction
Music and Food
Black Tie Preferred

Friday: Casual/Dance/Club Night
Presented by VIP Magazine
Republic Nightclub
9pm-2am
DJ Blacklow
VIP Lounge for Hosts and Patrons

Saturday: Main Event!
Costume Contest & Parade (costumes required)
Massive Dance Party with DJ Tristan Jaxx
Theme: “Descent” (a journey through the underground) 10pm-4am
VIP Lounge for Hosts and Patrons

Sunday: Brunch and Second Line
House of Blues
1-4 pm
Jazz and Gospel Entertainment
Second Line from HOB to corner of Bourbon and St. Ann

All events are open bar.

"RSVPnola" with us AFTER THE JUMP and we'll keep you in-the-know with insider tips, a guide to special events, and information you can use for your weekend in the Big Easy.

Continue reading "Join Towleroad in New Orleans for Halloween!" »


Happening Now: New Orleans Rally Against Decision Upholding Louisiana's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

LaAs we reported earlier, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman became the first judge since United States v. Windsor to uphold a state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. ABC News now reports that Forum for Equality, the ALCU, the Human Rights Campaign, the LGBT Community Center and PFLAG New Orleans are encouraging people in New Orleans to protest Judge Feldman's decision tonight in Jackson Square, located in New Orleans' historic French Quarter. 

From Forum For Equality:

The ruling today upheld the unconstitutional ban on recognizing loving and committed same-sex couples. Forum for Equality and the courageous couples who have lead this battle will not stop! We will take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court! We will not let one decision turn back the tide of victories because we stand on the right side of history. Rally with Forum for Equality, ALCU, HRC, LGBTCC and PFLAG today to show Louisiana that we are committed to standing for love and fairness for all.

The event is happening now at the Pedestrian Mall, Jackson Square New Orleans, LA 70130 (In front of St. Louis Cathedral).


Federal Court to Hear Challenge to Louisiana’s Gay Marriage Ban on Wednesday

Martin FeldmanNew Orleans-based U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman [pictured] is set to hear arguments Wednesday in the case challenging Louisiana’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

The Advocate reports:

Six Louisiana couples will argue that the Supreme Court’s decision means Louisiana must recognize their marriages from other states, just as the federal government now does.

A victory for those couples would not necessarily mean that same-sex couples could get a marriage license in Louisiana, but those married legally elsewhere could adopt children in Louisiana together, file joint tax returns and enjoy other benefits extended to opposite-sex couples. 

The Times Picayune adds:

LouisianaFeldman has received 23 amicus briefs from parties with interest on one side of the argument or the other. Among them is the city of New Orleans, which weighed in on the side of the same-sex couples by saying the city recognizes domestic partnerships and allows its employees to extend their municipal benefits to their partners.

"Indeed, as expressly set forth in the New Orleans Municipal Code, the city has an interest in strengthening and supporting all caring, committed and responsible family forms," city attorney Sharonda Williams wrote in the brief.


Hear Eyewitness Accounts of the Largest Mass Murder of Gay People in U.S. History: VIDEO

Cry

On June 24, 1973 an arsonist’s blaze killed 29 people in New Orleans’ Upstairs Lounge bar. Another three people died from burns sustained from the fire, making it the largest anti-gay mass murder in our nation’s history.

We’ve shared footage, reporting and stories from the catastrophe in the past as well as provided an in-depth look at an art exhibit dedicated to the lounge and those that perished.

But the tale of the survivors and other people affected by the crime will finally be heard thanks to Upstairs Inferno, a documentary set for release this year. The horror, disbelief and sadness still lives on, but with it a glimmer of love and the conviction that no one should ever suffer such injustice just because of who they are.

Watch the trailer AFTER THE JUMP…

Gay

Continue reading "Hear Eyewitness Accounts of the Largest Mass Murder of Gay People in U.S. History: VIDEO" »


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