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Gay New Orleans

CaptureNew Orleans has always embraced the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Queer) community openly, especially in the French Quarter and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Click here to visit the New Orleans Gay & Lesbian travel guide.

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There’s a new law firm in New Orleans, and it’s not your traditional law firm.  It’s the first private law firm to focus on the legal needs of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered community.

Pride is the best word to describe Delaney & Robb Attorneys at Law, LLC.

“Serving our community with pride.  This is the key to what we want to do.”

Ryan Delaney decided to start the firm, and he called up his old college buddy, Brandon Robb who he went to Loyola University with.  They decided to embark on the new venture together.

“We opened trying to do practical needs for the LGBT community.  Things like estate planning, family law, situations that same-sex couples may have,” Robb said.

“It was kind of risky in a way, but you don’t know what the community’s reaction will be,”  Delaney said.

Being the first private law firm in the state of Louisiana to primarily focus on the legal needs of gays and lesbians, although risky is something they are both proud of.

“By marketing ourselves like that right away, it instantly makes people in the LGBT community feel like we understand them and what they are going through.”

Louisiana doesn’t recognize marriage equality for gays and lesbians.  Both Delaney & Robb feel their job is even more important.

“It’s important to me as a gay individual that I’m treated as fair and equal as possible,”  Robb said.

Both Delaney and Robb are openly gay.  Brandon’s married and Ryan is in a relationship.  They feel their story makes them more approachable.

“We hope to change the hearts and minds of people by being open,”  Delaney said.

Although their focus is on the needs of the LGBT community, they don’t turn anyone away, regardless of age, race, gender, or sexual orientation.

“We want people to know that we are here for the needs of everyone, no matter who, gay or straight, or whoever you may be.”

Stepping out of the box and doing something they truly believe in is why they do it.

“The traditional parts are more scary.  Being who we are and promoting what we’re doing is the easy part,”  Delaney said.

People are noticing the pride they have for themselves and their new business.

“The response has been incredible.  We get a lot of people saying they are proud of what we’re doing.”

For more information on Delaney & Robb:  info@delaneyandrobb.com or call 504-267-9700.

Delaney & Robb on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/delaneyandrobb

The numbers are in: Southern Decadence 2013 proved to be the most prosperous ever.

Management at Oz nightclub tells WGNO collectively, gay bars in the heart of the festival pulled in more revenue than any other year.

“Makin money. Having fun,” Says Oz bartender Stephen Gioe. “We had a great crowd.  Very large.  Really helped out local restaurants, hotels.”

“Well, business wise it helped my store out,” says Frank Perez who runs Crescent City Tour Booking Agency. “More people than last year, definitely. We’ve been booking more tours.”

Perez recently launched a French Quarter gay history walking tour based on his book, In Exile.

Perez says a several factors came together making this year’s Decadence the biggest and best ever, “Supreme court rulings a few months ago. The weather was nice. First Decadence without a storm in a few years. Last year we had Isaac and then the year before that it was tropical storm Lee.”

More than 125,000 people attended this years Southern Decadence pumping about $100 million into the local economy.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Crescent-City-Tour-Booking-Agency/450713731629140

Labor Day is wrapping up and so is Southern Decadence.

It’s the largest gay event in New Orleans, and it can be truly decadent, but don’t worry … we’ve got the family-friendly version from WGNO’s Blaire Arvin in this Snapshot New Orleans.

It’s Southern Decadence again, but this time the Gay and Lesbian community have a lot to be happy about.

Thousands of visitors are rolling into New Orleans for Southern Decadence. The festival, which lasts through Labor Day weekend, is based around the French Quarter’s gay bar scene.

Promoters say Decadence will have a $100 million impact on New Orleans.

And while gays can’t get married in Louisiana, that doesn’t mean the city can’t market itself as a gay travel destination. Better yet, even a honeymoon spot!

The New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau just launched a social media campaign on Facebook to attract gay couples to the city.

Click here to see the campaign.

Southern Decadence this weekend carries on a long a tradition of gay heritage in New Orleans.

There’s now a French Quarter walking tour highlighting previously untold stories of local gay history.

Historian and author Frank Perez is your guide to past events and experiences of prominent gay people in New Orleans, “The vast majority of gay history remains in the closet.”

Perez says the gay walking tour is based on research from the book he co-authored called In Exile, “We’ve created a timeline of important people, events and attitudes that have shaped the gay community in New Orleans.”

He says the biggest challenge researching New Orleans gay history is that very little was documented, “Gay history was not something that you recorded. You could be arrested.”

The annual Southern Decadence festival plays a prominent role in new Orleans gay history, all starting at the Golden Lantern Bar, “It is the official home of Southern Decadence. Probably the biggest gay event, definitely in New Orleans annually but also around the world. It demonstrated to the straight community that gay people had money to spend.”

Perez hopes future generations embrace his research, so these stories will no longer be lost to history, “This history needs to be kept alive and preserved and that was the motivation.” .

*Sign up to take the Gay New Orleans Walking tour through “Crescent City Tour Booking Agency” located at 638 St. Ann Street in the French Quarter.  504-568-0717

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crescent-City-Tour-Booking-Agency/450713731629140

http://www.tubbysbarneworleans.com/

http://www.southerndecadence.net/

Pope Francis asks, “Who am I to judge,” referring to an accused gay priest.

A progressive statement for the Catholic Church on gay issues, or not enough?

Pope Francis wrapped up his visit  to Brazil ON Sunday at World Youth Day , which drew some 3 million people.

On a plane leaving Rio, when Pope Francis was asked about allegations of an Italian priest having a gay affair, the pope said, “If they accept the lord and have good will, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency is not the problem. They are our brothers.”

“Being a homosexual isn’t a tendency, it’s who people are,” says Frank Perez reacting to the Pope’s statement. “If he were to change church law and position and policy, then that would be more impressive to me.”

Perez and his friend Bob Ogle say the church’s opposition to gay marriage is a big concern in New Orleans, “They are still clueless when to comes to this issue. “says Perez.

“Until they allow the clergy to be married, they still will be clueless,” chimes in Ogle.

Still in disagreement on some of the church’s stances on homosexual issues, Perez and Ogle say the Popes’ statement is a step in the right direction.

“That’s a step but it’s a tiny one,” says Ogle. “Not even allowing women to give the sacraments and so on and so forth. It’s ridiculous.”

Perez agrees, “It’s an improvement but it’s not nearly enough.”

One Louisiana lawmaker doesn’t want to see a rainbow flags which represent gay pride – on public property: Lafayette councilman Andy Naquin is drafting a law to ban all but official flags from government property.

Naquin says he was contacted by a veteran who was upset that the rainbow flag was flown in a Lafayette park last week as people celebrated national gay pride month.

Naquin says only the American flag, or state or city flag, should be flown on government property.

Tourism is one of our city’s economic engines.  New Orleans’ economy would take a severe hit without the nearly 10 million tourists a year that visit our city.  The city’s Tourism and Marketing Board’s job is to promote our city as a destination for everyone: including gay tourists.

That’s right, the city is going after America’s gay population.  Even though our wacky right-leaning state isn’t about to pass a gay marriage act, tourism officials in New Orleans understand exactly how their bread is buttered.

New Orleans has always been home to thousands and thousands of homosexuals.  We’ve always embraced the gay community openly, especially in the French Quarter and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Now city tourism officials want to take advantage of that and the fact that gay marriage is legal in many states.  They want the gay tourist in America to consider New Orleans when traveling, or ideally to celebrate a honeymoon in our town.

The city is marketing New Orleans as a gay destination in states and cities where gay marriage is legal.  The city’s Tourism and Marketing arm has always done a good job promoting our wonderful city.  Going after the affluent, well-traveled gay tourist is simply the right thing to do.

New Orleans life blood is out tourism industry.  Promoting our city to all viable visitors is the way to go.  Even if they’re gay.

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