NEW ORLEANS -- A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of a city law recently used to arrest Christian evangelists preaching on Bourbon Street during Southern Decadence, the annual celebration of gay culture in the French Quarter.
Part of the city's recently enacted "aggressive solicitation" ordinance orders people not to "loiter or congregate on Bourbon Street for the purpose of disseminating any social, political or religious message between the hours of sunset and sunrise."
"That's no longer in effect," American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Justin Harrison said.
U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon granted a temporary restraining order Friday and set a hearing for a preliminary injunction for Oct. 1.
Nine Christian preachers and activists were arrested in one well-publicized incident during the gay-themed celebration. One reportedly held a sign reading "God Hates Homos," and others shouted what witnesses characterized as slurs.
But Harrison said his client, Kelsey McCauley of Kenner, La., had nothing to do with that incident.
In what is being described as the first of its kind in the U.S., the Archdiocese of New Orleans has transformed a vacant church rectory into a group house where single women will live together while deciding whether to undertake lives as nuns.
NEW ORLEANS -- Millie Campbell slipped the transmission into reverse and backed her blue Chevrolet away from her spotless brick home. "Oh God," she said, "we thank you for the blood of Jesus."
Then the 76-year-old cranked the wheel straight, put the car into drive, and headed slowly up Frenchmen Street, one hand on the wheel, the other turned upward toward the heavens.
NEW ORLEANS -- A Catholic high school that was the country's last refuge of corporal punishment has ended a legal struggle over control of the school and agreed that the days of paddling are over.
"There will be no attempt to reinstate corporal punishment," said Dan Davillier, a board member of St. Augustine High School who helped fashion the out-of-court settlement on Dec. 23 with the Josephites, the Roman Catholic order that founded the school 60 years ago.
"It hasn't been at the school for the last year and a half. We want St. Aug to maintain its track record for strict discipline. I'm confident that we can maintain that high level without paddling."
Whether to paddle or not -- and who would decide the question -- became the issue that roiled the school for most of 2011. The Josephites, with the emphatic support of New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond, wanted it stopped.
But a broad coalition of parents, alumni and local board members, led by former school president Rev. John Raphael, wanted it continued as a key ingredient in the school's character-building tool kit.