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in the news-2

Volume 16/Issue 3


Team New Orleans Fund Raiser
At The Women's Rugby Tournament

Team New Orleans will have a Concession Stand open during the Women's Rugby Tournament being held at the University of New Orleans on Sat. and Sun., Feb. 21 and 22. Rugby teams from throughout the United States will participate in this Mardi Gras Weekend Classic. Concessions sold by Team New Orleans will include fruit, water, sports drinks, nachos and other nutritous treats. The stand will open at 9:30am each day.

The tournament fields and the concession stand are located on the UNO campus next to the Health & Physical Education Bldg. near the corner of Elysian Fields Ave. and Leon C. Simon Dr.

For more information concerning the Women's Rugby Tournament or how you can help support Team New Orleans in its quest to attend the Amsterdam Gay Games V this summer, please call Erika or Kelly at 504.947.6554.


Movies At The Lesbian & Gay Community Center

The Lesbian & Gay Community Center of New Orleans, 816 N. Rampart St., 504.522.1103 has announced its Friday Night Movies through March. They are: Feb. 6, Thelma and Louise; Feb. 13, Blade Runner; Feb. 20, The Maid; Feb. 27, Sister Sister; Mar. 6, Casablanca; March 13, Hairspray; Mar. 20, Celestial Clockwork; and, Mar. 27, Claire of the Moon. All movies are shown at 7pm.


Community Center Celebrates
Gay & Lesbian Couples on Feb. 14

There will be a special program honoring Gay and Lesbian couples at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center on New Orleans, Feb. 14, at 7:30pm.

"Gay and Lesbian Couples: A Valentine's Celebration" will feature couples sharing the stories of how they came together and their secrets for keeping their relationships strong. Members of the audience will also be invited to share their stories.

A reception will follow the program. The Community Center is located at 816 N. Rampart St. This event is free and open to the public. for more information, call 504.522.1103.


LEGAL Visits Lake Charles

Louisiana Electorate of Gays And Lesbians (LEGAL) spent the weekend in Calcasieu Parish recently on the southwestern leg of its year-long statewide tour.

LEGAL, Louisiana's non-profit civic action organization for the lesbian and gay community, used the visit as an opportunity to accomplish several short-term objectives.

Noteable among them was a visit to the offices of Sen. "Jim" Cox of Lake Charles. Cox, the lead author of Louisiana's new Hate Crimes law, was presented a LEGAL Legislative Award for his leadership in the Louisiana Senate on the Hate Crimes bill as well as for his firm opposition to the Anti-Gay Marriage Bill.

During the last legislative session Cox made frequent trips to the Senate microphone on behalf of the Hate Crimes bill and in an effort to sidetrack the Anti-Gay Marriage amendment. Speaking out against claims by religious fundamentalist legislators who equated gay men with pedophiles and child molestors, Cox often challenged those stereotypes, standing up for the Lesbian and Gay community.

"Because a person is gay does not make him a pedophile. There's no indication that a gay person is automatically a pedophile," Cox explained to one legislator. "Nor is there any indication that a straight person is not pedophiliac. That's not the intention of this legislation.

"If we start getting to the point where we are going to allow hate to be directed at people because of a difference in sexuality of any sort," Cox had added, "then we're falling behind instead of moving forward in society."

Cox, when asked what he thought to be the most compelling reasons that the Hate Crimes legislation was passed last year, said that it had mostly to do with the networking that was done on the statewide level.

Cox stated that when he learned LEGAL would be visiting with him he began to consider the primary reason for the Hate Crimes bill's passage. He said that he remembered seeing fellow senators change their votes on the issue after receiving a number of telephone calls and letters from their constituents.

LEGAL, which has built a grass-roots Statewide Network of community members, worked with several state and local groups in ensuring that this networking occurred and that it occurred in the right way and at the right time.

During the Calcasieu Parish weekend LEGAL also held its bi-monthly Board of Directors meeting in Lake Charles on Sat., Jan. 17. Also, members of LEGAL's Board of Directors were warmly received at a social gathering with local community leaders, Lesbian and Gay students and other members and friends of the community. Held the night before the group's board meeting at Pujo St. Cafe, the social was organized in an effort to build working ties with the local lesbian and gay community.

Also, throughout that weekend LEGAL volunteers and members of its Board of Directors were busy at an information table at Crystal's, Lake Charles' lesbian and gay niteclub, distributing information about LEGAL.

"We have to thank the owners and workers at Crystal's, Pujo St. Cafe and Aunt Ruby's Bed & Breakfast," said Brian Hartig, LEGAL's executive director. "In particular, the entire weekend would not have come off or been the success that it was without the solid organizing done by our Area Coordinator there, Paul Montalbano, Jr."

LEGAL's visit to Louisiana's southwest is the third in a series of board meetings/visits being held in locations around the state. This latest was preceeded by visits last year to Lafayette in Nov. and to Shreveport in Sept.

LEGAL's next Board of Directors meeting will take place in Alexandria on Mar. 7. Details about this board meeting/visit to the CenLA Area are forthcoming.

For information about how you can get involved with LEGAL in the Lake Charles area, please contact LEGAL's Southwest Area Coordinator, Paul Montalbano, Jr., in Lake Charles at 318-439-5861, or by email at pjmon@juno.com.

Louisiana Electorate of Gays And Lesbians (LEGAL) is a statewide, not-for-profit human rights organization for the lesbian, gay and bisexual community. LEGAL works to end discrimination based upon sexual orientation and to protect the safety of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. For more information about LEGAL and how you can get involved, write to: LEGALinc, PO Box 70344, New Orleans, LA 70172-0344, email: legalinc@aol.com, web page: http://members.aol.com/legalinc/ or voicemail: 504-365-3105.


Milan Murders Related to Rome?

Two murders in Milan may be related to the series of slayings of gay men in Rome over the last seven years. Last week, Milan art gallery owner Renato Degni was found dead in what police are considering to be a "gay" murder. Then, on Jan. 19, the chaplain of Milan's All Saints Episcopal Church, U.S. citizen Gregory Beheydt, was found tied up and bludgeoned to death in his apartment above the church, which had been ransacked.

A number of other victims have been tied up and beaten in the head in their own apartments, but while many of them were found naked or nearly so, Beheydt was fully clothed. Pornographic material found in the apartment has police considering Beheydt's to be another in the series of attacks against gays, but they are also looking for two Croatians he had taken into his home, the latest in a series of Bosnian and Croatian refugees he had assisted.

Rev. Beheydt's murder bears some obvious similarities-the home location, the pornography, the tying up, the bludgeoning, the disarray of the scene- to that of former Papal assistant Enrico Sini Luzi in Rome earlier this month which ignited protests from activists and called significant international attention to the murders of at least 18 gay men in Rome since 1990.

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