CARNIVAL CLUB DROPS OUT OF MARDI GRAS
NEW ORLEANS — The city's third-oldest Carnival club canceled its 1992 parade less than a month after the City Council ordered groups that provide lavish Mardi Gras parades to integrate within two years or lose parade permits. Other "krewes," as Carnival clubs are called, are expected to follow suit.
The city ordinance orders the clubs, most of which are all-white and all-male, to eliminate membership barriers such as race, sex, and sexual orientation or lose city permission to parade in 1994.
The city ordinance also requires the krewes to open the doors to their private clubs, on the grounds that minorities are shut out of business conducted at the clubs.
Old-line krewes say they are angry and hurt that city government has turned against those that make New Orleans a winter mecca for tourists, bringing millions of dollars into the financially strapped city.
A spokesman for Mayor Sidney Barthelemy late Saturday said, "It is our intent to go on with Mardi Gras and to work with the krewes that want to work with the city in a spirit of cooperation."