in the news/4
Volume 18/Issue 4

Pantheon of Leather
in New Orleans Feb. 25-27

The Pantheon of Leather will hold its annual convention in New Orleans from Feb. 25 to 27.

On Fri., Feb. 25 the Pantheon of Leather Community Service Awards will be presented at Le Petit Theatre, 616 St. Peter St. with a cocktail party beginning at 7:30pm followed by the awards ceremony at 9pm and ending with a Party at the Phoenix, 941 Elysian Fields as well as a Dungeon Party by Le Petit Bastille also at midnight.

On Sat., Feb. 26 there will be a number of workshops at Le Petit Theatre at 11am, 1pm and 2:30pm and the Mr. and Ms. Olympus Leather Contest at Le Petit Theatre commencing at 8pm with cocktails at 7pm. There will be a Dungeon Party by Le Petit Bastille at 11pm.

The Victory Brunch will be held at Le Petit Bastille from 11:30am - 2:30pm on Sun., Feb. 27 and the confab will end with the Fetish Ball 11 by NLA at 8pm.

For more information, check out

Ariodante Presents "Only In New Orleans"

Ariodante, the Contemporary Craft Gallery at 535 Julia St., is presenting a collection of hand crafted objects dedicated to the essence of Mardi Gras. New York Artist Paul Wirhun, aka the egg man, returns to the Crescent City with work done in the Ukrainian batik method handed down through generations of his family. Wirhun has used duck, emir and ostrich eggs as the canvas for creating scenes of his favorite city (New Orleans) celebrating his favorite holiday (Mardi Gras). Maskmaker Gabriel Q. joins the egg man in this show contributing masks on and off the wall. Gabriel has created hanging and wearable pieces of mixed media which intrigue and titillate as they explore the mystery and spirituality of masking. Eggs and masks will be on display during regular business hours through Fat Tuesday.

99 Circuit Party Awards
from recently announced the 1999 Circuit Party Awards as voted at its Web site with the Spectacular Circuit Weekend of 1999 going to Black and Blue - Cosmos 1999, Montreal, Canada held Oct. 6-12. 1st Runner-up was Halloween 1999, New Orleans, Oct. 29-31 and 2nd Runner-up was Perfect Day, Labor Day, Austin.

Best Circuit Party of 1999 went to The Colosseum Party, Gay Day Disney, Orlando, June 6, with Black and Blue, Mega Recovery Party, Montreal being the Runner-up.

"Unspeakable Joy," Kim English/Maurice Joshua won the Fierce Circuit Song of 1999 with "Someone To Hold," Veronica, the Runner-up and "Got The Groove," SM-Trax, drew an honorable mention. DJ of 1999 is DJ Manny Lehman and DJ Victor Calderone is Runner-up.

Other winners can be found at the Web site at

NGLTF, SAVE Dade Raise
$50,000 to Fight Repeal Effort

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force teamed up recently to help local activists in Dade County, FL, raise $50,000 to fight an anticipated ballot initiative that seeks to repeal a county-wide sexual orientation nondiscrimination ordinance.

The fundraiser, held Jan. 22 at a private home in Miami, featured NGLTF Executive Director Kerry Lobel, NGLTF Policy Institute Director Urvashi Vaid, and Jorge Mursuli, chairman of SAVE Dade.

Dade Couty is currently under attack from far-right social conservatives who are fighting to overturn the county's Human Rights Ordinance. Led by the local chapter of the Christian Coalition and by the Florida chapter of the virulently anti-Gay American Family Association, these social conservatives have pledged to gather enough signatures to place the ordinance on an election ballot, possibly on Sept. 5.

"The vote in Dade County is likely to be the first major vote involving civil rights for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered community after the Mar. 7 Limits on Marriage ballot measure in California," said NGLTF Executive Director Lobel. "More ballot measures are expected in Nov., 2000. In fact, this could be a record year for ballot measures threatening the GLBT community. We must be prepared to defeat every one of these ballot measures, and that means helping local activists gain traction to fight the radical right."

Lobel noted that NGLTF already has dispatched Dave Fleischer, head of the NGLTF Electoral Training Initiative to Dade County a number of times since Oct., 1998 to develop, implement and evaluate electoral strategy.

"We are in the fight of our lives," Lobel said of the likely Dade County election. "It has already begun and will soon rapidly escalate. We need to marshal our resources - money and volunteers - and plan and execute the kind of campaign it will take to win this election."

No On Knight Raises $1 Million

No on Knight, the campaign fighting California's Proposition 22, raised more than $1 million in the first week of Feb., the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Proposition 22, also known as the Knight initiative, which will be on the state's March 7 ballot, would ban recognition of same-sex marriages. A benefit featuring Matthew Shepard's mother, Judy Shepard, pulled in about $300,000. A "celebrity roast" of singer Melissa Etheridge brought in an additional $200,000. Meanwhile, Quark cofounder Tim Gill and WordPerfect creator Bruce Bastian each donated $250,000. [from The Advocate]

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