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11 Years After Mandated By US Supreme Court, Alabama Court Strikes Down Anti-Sodomy Law

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On Friday an Alabama appeals court ruled the state’s ban on consensual same-sex intercourse unconstitutional. Prompted by the conviction of a man in 2010 and his subsequent yearlong incarceration, this decision (Dewayne Williams v. State of Alabama) comes 11 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled all anti-sodomy laws in the United States unconstitutional in the case Lawrence v. Texas.

By the time of Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, all but 14 states had removed their bans through legislative or judicial action. Yet, despite the Supreme Court ruling, Alabama is only the third state whose statute was overturned with the case to actually remove the anti-sodomy law from the books, along with Montana and Virginia.

LOOK: What Did Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Say About Baton Rouge Illegal Arrests Of Gay Men?

Last year, the arrest of 12 men in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, attracted national attention. The incident substantiated claims that police were using the existing statute to target gay men for persecution, despite it being a clear violation of federal law. The district attorney refused to prosecute the man, saying the law was unenforceable, and the case was dropped. Nonetheless, moves to formally repeal the ban have since beendefeated.

States that still retain their anti-sodomy laws are Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

James McDonald is a Brooklyn-native currently based in Scotland. When not pouring through the letters of Mary, Queen of Scots in pursuit of an MLitt Scottish History degree at the University of Glasgow, you’ll find him typing away. To date, his writing has been featured in Haaretz, the Huffington Post, the Lambda Literary Review, Gayletter, Thought Catalog and The Outmost, with more (hopefully) on the way. Follow him@jamesian7 

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'FILTHY GARBAGE'

Experts Destroy ‘Historically Loathsome’ Lindsey Graham for Urging Schumer ‘Dismiss’ Impeachment So Nation Can ‘Heal’

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Legal and political experts are responding to U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s Sunday letter to incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer with disgust and anger. Graham, an unwavering and unyielding devotee of President Donald Trump, slammed Democrats and those who support convicting Trump in a Senate trial after the House’s historic second impeachment of the outgoing president.

In his letter Graham argues against convicting Trump for incitement of insurrection in part because Vice President Mike Pence “stood in the breach of unconstitutional calls for him to overturn the 2020 election.” Those unconstitutional calls came from President Trump. His insurrectionist supporters then went to the Capitol hunting for the vice president, chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!”

He also says convicting Trump would delay “the healing of this great nation.” Experts call that argument false, and say that holding Trump to account is the only way for the nation to heal.

The response to Graham’s letter was immediate, and on social media few held back their punches.

“We are witnessing the largest under-reaction to a violent insurrection led by a sitting president in the history of humankind, folks,” said Condé Nast Legal Affairs Editor and Research Director Luke Zaleski. “It’s cause the Republican Party/trump are experts at one thing: Denying the premise of reality and convincing people anti-government is government.”

“No incitement is the new ‘no collusion,'” Zaleski continued. “A goalpost being moved. Trump fomented a riot that served as a coup attempt. It was likely planned and it was definitely encouraged. It was for him. It was to stop his loss. It was organized and spontaneous and stochastic. It was violent.”

Popehat, the popular law blog run by Ken White, tweeted a more succinct response.

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent suggests Graham is engaging in extortion:

Former Obama HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary boils that thought down even further:

Historian Michael Beschloss:

Historian Kevin M. Kruse:

Democratic strategist and professor Tom Watson:

Economist and Dartmouth professor Danny Blanchflower:

Yale professor Howard Forman:

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'DESPERATE TO PROTECT TRUMP'

Rand Paul Slammed for ‘Breathtaking Political Cowardice’ Over Fear of Impeaching President

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In his column for the conservative Bulwark, former Republican National Committee spokesperson Tim Miller slammed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) over comments he made in an interview where he expressed worries that the Republican Party would lose a substantial number of voters if they voted to impeach the president for sedition.

In the interview, Paul stated, “I didn’t agree with the fight that happened last week. I voted against over-turning the election. But at the same time, the impeachment is a wrongheaded, partisan notion. If Republicans go along with it, it will destroy the party. A third of the Republicans will leave the party.”

According to Miller, Paul’s admission was a stunning display of cowardice.

“The preponderance of failures by Republican elected officials over the last two months, and especially over the last two weeks, are due to purely political calculations. They can’t engage in a War on Terror against people they believe are their own voters,” Miller wrote. “The political cowardice here is breathtaking. Imagine thinking that one-third of your constituents were terrorist sympathizers and not attempting to do something about it. But while this Republican cowardice shouldn’t be excused, at least you can understand it.”

According to Miller, Republicans have been the do-nothing party for the past year, failing to hold any confirmation hearings and leaving the country leaderless.

“Why are we in this position? Because before January 6 they were terrified of hurting Donald Trump’s feelings by taking any actions which suggested that Joe Biden was going to be the next president. And now they are keeping out of session so that they don’t have to confront the article of impeachment that the House has passed,” he wrote. “In other words: Because they were desperate to protect Trump, both then and now.”

You can read more here.

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'SOUNDS ABOUT WHITE'

GOP Lawmaker Says Black People Are Glad Their Ancestors Were Brought Over as Slaves

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Terry Jones

Terry Jones, a Republican lawmaker in North Dakota, has submitted a bill that would require state forms to list “American” as a racial choice option because he’s “disgusted” with how race is used by bad actors to divide the country, he says.

In trying to explain how his bill would unite Americans by focusing “on commonalities rather than differences,” he told the press that “citizens of all backgrounds are proud to be American,” adding that Black Americans are “glad their ancestors were brought here as slaves.”

InForum reports: “Jones said he believes in this sentiment because he read a Reader’s Digest article from the 1980s in which a Black doctor visited an African country during a period of civil conflict and made remarks about being grateful that his ancestors had been taken to America. Forum News Service’s attempts to find the article were unsuccessful.

Jones’ ignorant comment are just part of a long history of racist lawmakers saying that people of color should be grateful for their ill-treatment in this country just because it’s better than living in poorer nations — hardly an endorsement of great living under the American system.

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