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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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'Phony President'

Trump Is a ‘Phony President’ Who Must Immediately Be Removed From Office: Ethics Watchdog Richard Painter

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The former chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration argued President Donald Trump must be immediately removed from office during a Monday appearance on MSNBC’s “The Beat.”

Guest anchor Ayman Mohyeldin played a clip of Trump saying the emoluments clause of the United States Constitution is “phony.”

“What other parts of the Constitution are phony?” Painter wondered. “The First Amendment? Freedom of the press? The impeachment clause of the Constitution? He is going to find out than one soon. The 25th Amendment, is that phony? The 25th Amendment that empowers the cabinet and Congress to remove a president who is psychologically unstable, unfit for office? He wants to say the Constitution is phony.”

“He has no business being president of the United States. He needs to be impeached and removed from office now. The emoluments clause is a critically important part of the Constitution that was inserted in there by the Founders because they did not want foreign governments being able to influence United States government officials,” he explained.

“It is not a phony constitution. We are not a phony country. We have a constitution, and we don’t want a phony president,” Painter said. “He needs to get out of there if he can’t play by the rules.”

Watch:

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Teacher at Taxpayer-Funded Private Christian School Forced Out for Being Gay

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A private Christian school in Florida that receives taxpayer funding for school vouchers has forced out one of its teachers, she says, because she is gay.

Monica Toro Lisciandro says Covenant Christian School in Palm Bay, Florida not only parted ways with her after she acknowledged she is gay when school administrators asked her, but her students were told her “morals” did not line up with the schools, Lisciandro says.

The school questioned Lisciandro, who teaches theater, after someone called to report saying they had seen her at a pride event.

“Lisciandro said the assistant principal told her the school received word that Lisciandro was in a relationship with a woman, she had attended a pride festival, and she hosted an LGBTQ group in her studio,” Florida Today reports.

“Well, it’s true,” she told the assistant principal.

“I want kids to see me and know that you can be a Christian and you can be gay,” Lisciandro tells Florida today (video below). “You can be gay, you can teach at a Christian school. You don’t have to feel shame about who you love, or who you are, or how you were born to be.”

Covenant Christian School has come under fire recently after reports found the school’s handbook says students can be expelled for being gay. Florida offers no protections for LGBTQ employees, and faith-based schools and workplaces are often exempt from laws that protect LGBTQ people. That handbook has since been removed from the school’s website.

The school also blamed her for leaving.

“I am sorry to say that for personal reasons, Mrs. Lisciandro is not able to continue teaching our musical theater class. We are aggressively pursuing another teacher to finish the class and (direct) our play, and I will keep you posted,” Head of School Lorne Wenzel wrote in an email sent to parents.

Covenant Christian participates in the State of Florida’s school voucher program. That program has come under fire for its anti-LGBTQ policies. One opinion writer, citing the school’s policy of expelling students who are gay, observed, “the line separating church from state has been crossed.”

Those vouchers help offset the school’s tuition. Fees and tuition combined can reach over $8600 per year per student. The school also asks for a voluntary “faith pledge,” or donation, of around $500 per family.

Video via Florida Today:

RELATED STORIES:

Almost Every Dollar of School Vouchers in This Southern State Pays for Religious Education

Christian College Bans Homosexuality After Two Gay Athletes Come Out

Christian University Granted Right To Ban Gays, Unmarried Women Who Have Sex

 

 

 

 

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News

CNBC Reporter Laments ‘Very Sad’ Decline of Trump: ‘We Just Heard 20 Minutes of Nonsense’

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CNBC’s John Harwood reacted to President Donald Trump’s appearance before the press corps on Monday by calling it “20 minutes of nonsense.”

Trump’s remarks to the press came during a cabinet meeting where he defended his decision to pull troops out of Syria and insisted that the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution is “phony.”

“I say it is nonsense,” Harwood explained following Trump’s comments. “We just heard 20 minutes of nonsense from the president. It was very sad actually. He looked to me like somebody who understands his White House is in crisis and he’s in over his head.”

“And you have Democrats coming after him and career diplomats and Republicans who are fed up with defending him privately,” he continued. “They make fun of him behind his back. His own former officials don’t respect him. This is a situation where a president is trying to justify the picture that exists in his head [of an] all powerful and efficient guy that’s doing a great job.”

Related: Trump Appears to Admit He is Still Running His Real Estate and Resort Empire – Says Washington Ran Businesses Too

“That was a sad performance from the president just now,” Harwood concluded.

Watch the video below from MSNBC.

 

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