Best gay blog. Towleroad Wins Award

New Orleans Hub



04/19/2007


Nine Anti-Gay Street Preachers Arrested at New Orleans Southern Decadence Celebration: VIDEO

Preachers

Nine men have been arrested for anti-gay street preaching against celebrants at New Orleans' annual Southern Decadence weekend, the Times Picayune reports:

Patrick O'Connell, 45, Rolando Igleasias, 31, Cesar Chavez, 22, Daniel Hoogerhuis, 26, Danny Guevera, 20, Larry Craft, 52, Montes Diego, 32 and Gary Brown, 33 were arrested on suspicion of aggressive solicitation, a city law passed last October.

The ordinance prohibits "any person or group of persons to loiter or congregate on Bourbon Street for the purpose of disseminating any social, political or religious message between the hours of sunset and sunrise."

Another man was arrested for attempting to assault an officer.

New Orleans police spokesman Frank Robertson said the men were previously warned not to use bullhorns, but did not comply. Casey Kolosky, a bouncer at Tropical Isle, said the preachers were making slurs against gays and also mentioned Hurricane Katrina victims.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Nine Anti-Gay Street Preachers Arrested at New Orleans Southern Decadence Celebration: VIDEO" »


Isaac Now Officially Category 1 Hurricane

Isaac1

Isaac has turned from a tropical storm into a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds, the AP reports:

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tuesday that Isaac gained strength as it moved over the warm, open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Isaac is expected to make landfall over southeastern Louisiana, possibly the New Orleans area, either late Tuesday or early Wednesday.


Strengthening Isaac Storms Toward Gulf Coast, Still Presents Threat to GOP: VIDEO

Isaac

Nearly seven years to the date, Tropical Storm Isaac appears headed as a category 2 or 3 hurricane for the exact same region devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Louisiana and Alabama have both declared states of emergency as the entire area from east of Morgan City, Louisiana, to Destin on the Florida Panhandle is under a hurricane warning.

The NYT Caucus looks at the nightmare it presents for Republicans, aside from having the first day of the GOP convention pushed:

Searing images of wind-damaged homes, flooding and mass evacuations — all fraught with the memory of Hurricane Katrina — may well compete on television with Mr. Romney’s bid to seize the initiative in his battle with President Obama for the White House.

“Images of revelry by Republicans at a time of suffering by other Americans — no party wants those optics,” said Steve Schmidt, who helped lead Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “You have terrible awareness of all that stuff.”

Four years ago, Mr. Schmidt and other Republicans postponed the first day of the Republican convention in Minneapolis as an even larger hurricane headed through the gulf toward New Orleans. Mr. Schmidt said the fact that the canceled day would have fallen on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall on Aug. 29, 2005, was foremost in their minds.

“The optics of that were not good,” Mr. Schmidt recalled.

KeywestIsaac slowed a bit yesterday as it passed by Cuba and Key West. Meteorologist Bryan Norcross wrote on Facebook last night:

What a horrendous confluence of events. Tropical storms never get on people's radar, and the fact that Isaac passed Key West with less effect than a gusty afternoon thunderstorm made the situation worse. Even with a Cat 1 hurricane, will people take action tomorrow that may save their life Tuesday night?

Isaac's extremely large circulation is one of the factors that should make it intensify relatively slowly, and a track that misses the high heat-content pools in the Gulf should help in that direction as well. Plus it has less than two days over the water before landfall. But, the water ahead is still plenty warm - over 85 degrees - and the atmospheric pattern looks very favorable for strengthening. Taken together, the NHC's Cat. 2 forecast looks reasonable, though preparations should be made for a Cat. 3, given the lack of skill inherent in intensity forecasting.

In any case, that same large circulation will move a lot more water toward the coast than an average hurricane. The entire Hurricane Warning area - from Louisiana to the western Panhandle - is extremely vulnerable to storm surge flooding.

Watch a CNN report from Key West, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Strengthening Isaac Storms Toward Gulf Coast, Still Presents Threat to GOP: VIDEO" »


Massive Hotel Implodes in New Orleans: VIDEO

Implosion

For those of you who enjoy a good controlled building implosion, here's the destruction of New Orleans' Grand Palace Hotel at South Claiborne Avenue and Canal Street which took place Sunday morning to make way for a new teaching hospital. The collapse sent a cloud of dust billowing toward these spectators.

"The new hospital will replace Charity Hospital, which provided medical care for poor residents and was not reopened after Hurricane Katrina," according to the Times-Picayune.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Massive Hotel Implodes in New Orleans: VIDEO" »


39th Anniversary Of The UpStairs Lounge Fire: VIDEO

UpStairs


Today is the 39th anniversary of the firebombing of the UpStairs Lounge, the New Orleans gay bar, which killed 32 gay men and constituted the single largest mass murder of gays in the history of the United States.

The UpStairs Lounge was located on the second floor of an old building at Chartres Street and Iberville Street, just off Canal Street, near the edge of the French Quarter. In 1973, June 24th fell on a Sunday, and most of the 60 or in attendance were members of New Orleans' Metropolitan Community Church, which held services in the bar. That evening, they sang their unofficial anthem, Brotherhood of Man's "United We Stand," with accompaniment from resident pianist David Gary. They socialized. Just before 8 p.m., a doorbell rang. Someone opened the door, and discovered the Lounge's wooden staircase was ablaze. The UpStairs Lounge was promptly engulfed.

Erik Ose, writing four years ago in the Huffington Post, described the scene:

The emergency exit was not marked, and the windows were boarded up or covered with iron bars. A few survivors managed to make it through, and jumped to the sidewalks, some in flames. Rev. Bill Larson, the local MCC pastor, got stuck halfway and burned to death wedged in a window, his corpse visible throughout the next day to witnesses below.

Bartender Buddy Rasmussen led a group of fifteen to safety through the unmarked back door. One of them was MCC assistant pastor George "Mitch" Mitchell. Then Mitch ran back into the burning building trying to save his partner, Louis Broussard. Their bodies were discovered lying together.

29 lives were lost that night, and another three victims later died of injuries from the fire. 

The mainstream media was largely uninterested in showing compassion for gay arson victims:

Initial news coverage omitted mention that the fire had anything to do with gays, despite the fact that a gay church in a gay bar had been torched. What stories did appear used dehumanizing language to paint the scene, with stories in the States-Item, New Orleans' afternoon paper, describing "bodies stacked up like pancakes," and that "in one corner, workers stood knee deep in bodies...the heat had been so intense, many were cooked together." Other reports spoke of "mass charred flesh" and victims who were "literally cooked."

The press ran quotes from one cab driver who said, "I hope the fire burned their dress off," and a local woman who claimed "the Lord had something to do with this." The fire disappeared from headlines after the second day.

A joke made the rounds and was repeated by talk radio hosts asking, "What will they bury the ashes of queers in? Fruit jars." Official statements by police were similarly offensive. Major Henry Morris, chief detective of the New Orleans Police Department, dismissed the importance of the investigation in an interview with the States-Item. Asked about identifying the victims, he said, "We don't even know these papers belonged to the people we found them on. Some thieves hung out there, and you know this was a queer bar."

In the days that followed, other churches refused to allow survivors to hold a memorial service for the victims on their premises. Catholics, Lutherans, and Baptists all said no.

Eventually, a Unitarian congregation agreed to host a memorial service. The UpStairs arsonist was never apprehended.

AFTER THE JUMP, see the only surviving news coverage of the fire. 

Continue reading "39th Anniversary Of The UpStairs Lounge Fire: VIDEO" »


NEWS: Afghanistan And Egypt; Brad And Ellen; Glenn Beck, Louis Farrakahn, And Andy Samberg (VIDEO!)

3234098346_4014b6188a
Towleroad-roadicon "LGBT Rights Window Closing In Egypt":

In many ways, the huge demonstrations of early 2011 that took place in Tahrir Square and led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak inspired Egypt’s gay community to join the call for a new, more democratic nation.

But now more than a year into the revolution, Egypt’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has stepped back out of the public eye and retreated into the shadows once again.

... On a recent reporting trip to Egypt ... I met Taher Lamey, a doctor and member of the LGBT community who volunteered in the tented field hospitals of Tahrir helping victims of attacks by Egyptian security forces.

... In the heady days following the toppling of Mubarak, [Lamey] said he had high hopes for the revolution. He said, “The best of the country is involved in this. But they won’t win. If these people were in charge you would expect a lot from this country. International connections, democracy, social justice, social welfare..”

And, he believes, LGBT rights.

“I’m sure also that would have definitely been better because they’d have been liberals, ” he explained.

But in a country whose newly elected parliament is controlled by a two Islamist parties that control more than two-thirds of the seats, that possibility, he added, is “a long way off.”

Taher sighed and said he’s thankful he also holds a Dutch passport.

“I could leave. I have a fear of what happens next. I think we will be the next Iran,” he says.

Towleroad-roadicon Australian political advetisement: homophobic, xenophobic and racist -- all at once

Towleroad-roadicon American soldier loses it; goes on door-to-door killing spree in Afghanistan. Nine children, seven adults die:

Residents of three villages in the Panjwai district of Kandahar Province described a terrifying string of attacks in which the soldier, who had walked more than a mile from his base, tried door after door, eventually breaking in to kill within three separate houses. At the first, the man gathered 11 bodies, including those of four girls younger than 6, and set fire to them, villagers said. 

Towleroad-roadicon Ohio Attorney General and Santorumfan Mike DeWine squashes effort to get marriage equality on state ballot:

Mike DeWine said Friday that Freedom to Marry Ohio had submitted the initial required 1,000 voter signatures but had not supplied an adequate description of the measure.

Good-christian-bitchesTowleroad-roadicon Newt Gingrich campaign zeroes in on new target: Good Christian Bitches

Towleroad-roadicon Scientists "now have a glimpse of the brain's bio-molecular code for memory."

Towleroad-roadicon Glenn Beck vs. The Nation of Islam vs. Barack Obama.

Towleroad-roadicon Brad Pitt shows Ellen around New Orlean's 9th Ward ...

Towleroad-roadicon ... in advance of a star-stuffed benefit last night for his foundation, Make It Right, which is rebuilding the ward's homes and bringing home the city's displaced citizens. Brad Pitt! He's awesome. 

Towleroad-roadicon Lots of people say Andy Samberg's parody of other comedians' parodies of Sarah Palin's on last night's SNL was amazing. I'm not one of those people. Are you? Find out AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "NEWS: Afghanistan And Egypt; Brad And Ellen; Glenn Beck, Louis Farrakahn, And Andy Samberg (VIDEO!)" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged