On FridayÂ anÂ Alabama appeals courtÂ ruled the stateâ€™s ban on consensual same-sex intercourse unconstitutional. Prompted by the conviction of a man in 2010 and his subsequent yearlong incarceration, this decisionÂ (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 caseÂ Lawrence v. Texas.
By the time ofÂ Lawrence v. TexasÂ 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.
States that still retain their anti-sodomy laws are Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.
James McDonaldÂ 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, youâ€™ll find him typing away. To date, his writing has been featured inÂ Haaretz, the Huffington Post, theÂ Lambda Literary Review, Gayletter, Thought CatalogÂ andÂ The Outmost, with more (hopefully) on the way. Follow him@jamesian7Â
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Trump Shamefully Withdraws United States from World Health Organization During Pandemic
In an absolutely shameful move for Americans everywhere (whether they believe it right now or not), the Trump White House has announced its departure from the World Health Organization (WHO). The line was drawn in the proverbial sand on Tuesday, July 7.
“We have detailed the reforms that it [the WHO] must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump said.
According to The Hill, the United States contributes upwards of $400 million annually to the WHO — the group’s largest contributor — and public health experts have warned that a suspension of funds would severely damage the organization.
Following Trump’s ill-timed announcement, United States Senator Bob Menendez tweeted, “Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the WHO in the midst of a pandemic. To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests — it leaves Americans sick & America alone.”
Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the @WHO in the midst of a pandemic.
To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn't do it justice. This won't protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone.
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) July 7, 2020
“I disagree with the president’s decision,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said in a statement. “Certainly there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it.”
“Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need,” Alexander added.. “And withdrawing could make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the United States.”
It’s not the first time Trump has publicly denounced the WHO and it certainly won’t be his last. Trump said this past May that “China’s pattern of misconduct is well-known. For decades, they’ve ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before. Hundreds of billions of dollars per year were lost dealing with China, especially over the years during the prior administration. China raided our factories, off-shored our jobs, gutted our industries, stole our intellectual property and violated their commitments under the World Trade Organization.”
Although Trump has put the plan in motion to extricate America from the WHO, there may still be a long legal battle ahead if Congress challenges the decision in court since Congress already allocated funding for the WHO in its current spending bill.
119 days, America. The world is literally watching.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) July 7, 2020
Trump just formally withdrew the United States from the World Health Organization. What a shameful moment.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) July 7, 2020
I will say it again. National unity. Global solidarity.
This is our only road out of this pandemic"-@DrTedros
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 7, 2020
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 7, 2020
Petty, short-sighted and criminally irresponsible. #WHO is the world body that coordinates the global response to the virus. Now, we’re not just alone in our ineptitude, we’re actually alone. https://t.co/EDpNYva29j
— Richard Stengel (@stengel) July 7, 2020
Leaving the #WHO is a monumentally stupid decision from a deathly incompetent administration. It undermines our efforts to get #Covid under control while locking us out of the main global body tracking & responding to the virus. https://t.co/jSs2S5c8XF
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) July 7, 2020
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) July 7, 2020
— Prof. Dr. H. C. Vollmar (@hcvollmar) July 7, 2020
— Maalai Malar News (@maalaimalar) July 7, 2020
— Market Raptor (@swissraptor) July 7, 2020
Mary Trump: President Never Took SATs — and Paid Someone Else to Do It for Him
The explosive new tell-all book written by President Donald Trump’s niece about their family history alleges that the president only got into a good college because of a fraudulently obtained SAT score.
According to the New York Times, Mary Trump claims in her book that “as a high school student in Queens… Donald Trump paid someone to take a precollegiate test, the SAT, on his behalf.”
Mary Trump also claims that this fraudulent score helped him get into the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton business school, which the president often boasts about having attended.
The upcoming book, titled “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” paints a frightening portrait of how the president was groomed by his father to be ruthless and unsympathetic toward other people. Even though the Trump family has sued to stop the book’s publication, it is currently slated to release next week.
J. K. Rowling Compares ‘Transgender Hormone Therapy to Gay Conversion Therapy’
“I’ve ignored fake tweets attributed to me and RTed widely,” Rowling began. “I’ve ignored porn tweeted at children on a thread about their art. I’ve ignored death and rape threats. I’m not going to ignore this. When you lie about what I believe about mental health medication and when you misrepresent the views of a trans woman for whom I feel nothing but admiration and solidarity, you cross a line.”
“I’ve written and spoken about my own mental health challenges, which include OCD, depression and anxiety. I did so recently in my essay ‘TERF Wars’. I’ve taken anti-depressants in the past and they helped me,” she said. “Many health professionals are concerned that young people struggling with their mental health are being shunted towards hormones and surgery when this may not be in their best interests. Many, myself included, believe we are watching a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalisation that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function.”
Rowling continued, “These concerns were explored by the recent BBC documentary about the Tavistock Clinic. Whistleblowers were talking about transitions driven by homophobia. As I’ve said many times, transition may be the answer for some. For others, it won’t – witness the accounts of detransitioners. ‘The system sees surgery as the easy fix to girls who do not conform.'”
The tweets went on with links to various articles articulating the author’s points. However, we should note that a research study in 2019 by Stonewall showed that de-transitioning is very rare and that of the 3,398 trans patients who spoke to the NHS Gender Identity Service between 2016 and 2017, less than one percent had expressed regrets about transition or had de-transitioned.
“Sophie is a trans woman and a true feminist ally,” Rowling tweeted next. “She was making the point that anti-depressants were over-prescribed to teenagers in the past, with serious consequences. The long-term health risks of cross-sex hormones have been now been tracked over a lengthy period. These side-effects are often minimised or denied by trans activists.”
Rowling added, “Carl Henegan, professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, has described the off-label use of puberty blockers on under-18s as an ‘unregulated live experiment on children’. None of that may trouble you or disturb your belief in your own righteousness. But if so, I can’t pretend I care much about your bad opinion of me.”
There certainly are an array of opinions about the wizarding legend. In an article published July 6 for The Atlantic, writer Helen Lewis likened Rowling’s extremely public missteps as of late to a deeply gratifying lesson in the Potterverse.
“Those who feel rejected and disoriented by that should look for comfort in the character who is the true moral center of the Potterverse,” Lewis wrote. “It was never Harry, the boy who happened to live, whose luck always holds, whose mistakes are minor. It is Severus Snape, who was made miserable by Harry’s father and took it out on Harry, who loved Harry’s mother and betrayed her friends, who redeemed himself with a morally repugnant act. A bully, a victim, a villain, and a hero: a human.”
But is it enough to cite foul human idiosyncrasies as a means to forgive inadequacies by individuals who should probably know better and do better in the process of human evolution? That will be decided over time in the court of public opinion. For now, we have this right here to digest and dismantle (click below to expand and see all 11 tweets).
I've ignored fake tweets attributed to me and RTed widely. I've ignored porn tweeted at children on a thread about their art. I've ignored death and rape threats. I'm not going to ignore this. 1/11 pic.twitter.com/hfSaGR2UVa
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 5, 2020
Rowling was back at it on Twitter this morning with the interaction below. Get ready for another news cycle, folks.
I'm a world expert on being talked over, lied about and defined by misogynists, on being instructed to centre everyone but my own demographic in my activism and on being denied credit for my own achievements by envious men. In other words, I'm a woman. https://t.co/CN8VZH3z0S
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 7, 2020
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