in the news/3
Volume 16/Issue 21

Murderer of Gay Man
Found Not Guilty in Texas

In July of 1996, Pablo Zuniga was brutally stabbed to death by Charles Edward Lowery on the north shore of Town Lake in Austin, TX. Zuniga was deaf and unable to speak. It has taken two years for the murder case finally to come to trial, and on Fri., Sept. 25, a jury found Lowery "not guilty."

"I cannot believe that the jury found this murderer not guilty. It is so clear that Charles Lowery killed my brother and he used an anti-Gay self defense claim to get away with it," said Manuel Zuniga. "Lowery said that Pablo made an unwanted pass at him and then tried to rob him. In court, the defense stated that Pablo told Lowery to 'drop his pants and give him his wallet'-my brother was deaf and mute. He could not speak. There is no way this could have happened. Lowery has gotten away with murder."

"I am shocked and broken-hearted. I believe we lost this case the minute the defense said that Pablo was Gay and that he 'allegedly' made an unwanted pass towards Lowery. It was obvious that the jury sided with Lowery from that very moment," explained Diana Acuna, Manuel Zuniga's girlfriend. "I never knew that anti-Gay prejudice would carry such weight in Austin-Pablo deserved better."

"This verdict illustrates that not only are Gays victims of violence in Texas, but we are often treated unfairly by the judicial system," said Dianne Hardy-Garcia, Executive Director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas. "Texas has had too many cases in which murderers of Gays have gotten light sentences. It is hard for me to believe that this is still happening in 1998."

"Tragically, today's verdict adds to Texas' history of devaluing the lives of Lesbians and Gays by giving murderers of Gays and Lesbians lighter sentences, or in this case, no sentence at all," said Dianne Hardy-Garcia.

Ghosts Haunt French Quarter Patiosghosts

This is your second reminder to take part in the Friends of the Cabildo's 12 Annual Ghosty Galavant, Oct.31 and Nov. 1. Tours depart every 20 minutes from the 1850 House Museum Store on Jackson Square, 523 St. Ann St. Tours begin at 9am and end at 3pm. So DRAG out those costumes-pun intended. Be a part of the seven stop haunting tour where you'll witness the apparitions of Jean Lafitte, Marie Laveau (surprised!!) and many other exciting historical personalities. Tickets for adults are $13. There is a discount for members of the Friends of the Cabildo which makes this the perfect time to join the Friends and take part in the haunting.

For additional information, call the Friends' office at 504.523.3939. Chairperson Paula Boltax Daniels welcomes you to this entertainingly scary event, a delight for locals and tourists alike.

Author Reception
at Faubourg Marigny Bookstore

Faubourg Marigny Bookstore will hold a reception for author Ellen Hawley celebrating the publication of her debut novel, Trip Sheets, published by Milkweed Editions, which is a novel about coming out without coming down. The reception, free and open to the public, will held at the bookstore, 600 Fenchmen St., Fri., Oct. 23, from 5 to 7 pm.

Trip Sheets is a record of a life Ellen Hawley's protagonist, Cath, moving from point A to point B along the most unexpected routes. Cath begins the task of unearthing herself from the safe and familiar but unsatisfying in her life. Along the way, she discovers that she is more loving and lovable than she thought possible-a demonstration that sometimes when you go searching for a more meaningful existence, you find one.

Petronius Goes to the Opera

The Krewe of Petronius has acquired a limited number of general admission seats to the Monday night dress rehearsals of this year's New Orleans Opera Association's season of the grandest operas in the entire repertoire. The krewe is in turn selling these seats at $20 each.

The operas and the dress rehearsal dates are: The Barber of Seville, Mon., Nov. 9, 7:30pm; The Flying Dutchman, Mon., Dec. 14, 730pm; and, Aida, Mon., March 8, 1999, also at 7:30pm.

Join the krewe in celebrating another of New Orleans' cultural treasures-and get some great Mardi Gras costume ideas at the same time!!

For more information on how to purchase these unique tickets, call 504.528.9061 or 504.525.4498.

Queens On A Hot Tin Roof Reschedules

The first annual event to support quality Gay and Lesbian programming for the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, Queens On A Hot Tin Roof, has been rescheduled after its initial date was wiped out by Hurricane Georges. It is now scheduled for Sat., Oct. 24, at 8pm.

The evening of drag, drinks and dramatics will take place at Good Friends bar, located at 740 Dauphine St. The evening, hosted by Essence Holiday (coincidentally her birthday) includes a gala of drag performances in the spirit of Blanche Dubois.

Contestants will register to perform their best orations of Tennessee Williams' characters. They should prepare a two minute monologue as the character from any Williams' play. The contest has also opened up to where people may perform a duet lasting up to four minutes. Contestants may register by calling the Festival office at 504.581.1144 or by signing up the evening of the festivities between 7:30 and 8pm.

A cash prize of $100 will go to the winner(s) along with the opportunity to participate in the festival's now famous Stanley and Stella shouting contest. The winner(s) will be chosen by celebrity judges, including author Kevin Allman and actors Shelly Poncy and Michael Arata.

There is no cover charge for the event. There will be a raffle drawing and a silent auction throughout the evening. The grand prize is a two night stay at the Omni Royal Orleans along with gift certificates for breakfast, lunch and dinner at various restaurants.

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