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Party Goes on in New Orleans

Party Goes on in New Orleans

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Although Tropical Storm Lee is heading for New Orleans, the organizers of Southern Decadence are still letting the good times roll.

Lee, upgraded from a tropical depression Friday, is expected to make landfall along the Louisiana coast Saturday afternoon with winds up to 60 miles per hour and could bring as much as 15 inches of rain to New Orleans through Sunday, according to ABC News.

Nonetheless, the city's annual Labor Day weekend gay celebration known as Southern Decadence is set to go on as planned. The festival's website promises that "come rain or come shine ... it's raining men in the French Quarter!" There was a concession to the threat of bad weather in moving a welcoming party last night from an outdoor to an indoor space, but a there remains a packed schedule of parties, concerts, and parades from tonight through Monday.

Meanwhile, government officials and businesses in Louisiana are taking precautions in hopes of avoiding a disaster on the scale of the levee breach brought on by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Katrina caused the cancellation of Southern Decadence that year, although some celebrants staged an impromptu parade.

Some of the Christian right saw Katrina as God's punishment for the city's hosting of Southern Decadence and other raucous parties, both gay and straight. Texas minister John Hagee called Katrina "the judgment of God" because "there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came." Hagee backpedaled on these comments during the 2008 presidential campaign, in which he endorsed Republican candidate John McCain -- but McCain rejected his endorsement anyway. And a fundamentalist Christian group called Repent America issued a press release saying, "Hurricane Katrina has put an end to the annual celebration of sin" -- but it turns out reports of the festival's demise were greatly exaggerated.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.