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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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CONSPIRACY THEORISTS

Watch: Nunes Stunned When State Dept. Official Knocks Down His ‘Black Ledger Isn’t Real’ Conspiracy Theory

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Intelligence Committee Ranking Republican Member Devin Nunes Thursday afternoon appeared stunned when he questioned a U.S. State Dept. official during the impeachment hearings and did not get the answer he anticipated.

Rep. Nunes has been spewing far right wing conspiracy theories during each impeachment hearing over the past two weeks, including the thoroughly debunked lie that Ukraine – not Russia – attacked the U.S. 2016 election.

(Earlier one of today’s witnesses, Dr. Fiona Hill, publicly lambasted the spreading of the false Ukraine conspiracy theory as she sat just feet away from Nunes. The video is here.)

Nunes asked David Holmes, who is the State Dept.’s counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine about the “black ledger.”

That line of questioning did not go well for Nunes.

Nunes asked if Holmes had “ever heard of the black ledger.”

“I have,” Holmes replied.

“The black ledger – is that seen as ‘credible’ information?” Nunes asked.

“Yes,” Holmes responded without hesitation.

Surprised, Nunes repeated his question.

“The black ledger is credible?”

“Yes,” Holmes again replied.

Nunes did not look pleased.

“Bob Mueller did not find it credible. Do you dispute what Bob Mueller’s findings were? – They didn’t use it in the prosecution or in the report.”

“I’m not aware that Bob Mueller did not find it credible. I think it was evidence in other criminal proceedings. Its credibility was not questioned in those proceedings, but I’m not an expert on that.”

Holmes is correct – it was used as evidence in prosecutions (see below).

The black ledger is a register of off-the-book payments made by the corrupt now-former ruling party of Ukraine – not today’s ruling party.

It contains details of 22 payments allegedly made to Paul Manafort, totaling $12.7 million, by his former client, the ex-President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort later became Donald Trump’s election campaign chairman. When the ledger was exposed Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign. He is now in prison, serving a 90-month federal sentence.

Mueller actually did find the black ledger credible, as The Washington Post reported one week ago. It was used as evidence in Mueller’s indictment against Manafort.

Rep. Nunes appears to believe the existence of the black ledger and its authenticity are conspiracy theories. He is the one spreading conspiracy theories. The black ledger is real.

 

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AYKM?

RNC Chair Attacks ‘Progressive Liberal’ Pete Buttigieg – Says Trump Would Beat Him for Lack of Foreign Policy Experience

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Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is targeting Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, apparently seeing his rise in the polls as a threat to President Donald Trump.

McDaniel Thursday told reporters at a breakfast meeting the South Bend, Indiana mayor who currently is polling in first place in Iowa is not a moderate but a “progressive liberal,” and insisted President Trump would beat him should he become the Democratic nominee, The Hill reports.

“Pete is a progressive liberal in moderate clothing,” McDaniel said at the event for members of the media which was hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “He is somebody who raised his hand to give health care to illegal immigrants. He is somebody who has said he wants to stack the Supreme Court up to 15 judges.”

“This is not somebody who is a moderate,” McDaniel added. “Just because he’s from South Bend, Indiana, doesn’t make him that.”

Claiming the 37-year old former Navy Reserves Lieutenant who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an intelligence officer is not a “strong” candidate, McDaniel declared, “I think the president wins against Pete Buttigieg.”

“I think he wins big. He doesn’t have any foreign policy experience, he has not been successful,” she added, incorrectly, “he hasn’t, as an executive, had the task of sending people to war.”

Before becoming president Donald Trump had less foreign policy experience than Buttigieg does today, and has never served in the U.S. Armed Forces – except for his title of Commander-in-Chief.

Trump also waited nearly two years into his term before visiting troops overseas.

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WHAM!

‘This Is a Fictional Narrative’: Dr. Fiona Hill Delivers Damning Slam Against Nunes’ Lie Ukraine Attacked US Election (Video)

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Dr. Fiona Hill, the former Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council, delivered a scathing bombshell opening statement Thursday morning before the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearing (video below).

Hill’s statement directly targeted Ranking Republican Member Devin Nunes’ lie that Ukraine, not Russia, attacked the U.S. 2016 election.

“Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did,” Dr. Hill said in her statement before Congress. “This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”

“I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016,” Dr. Hill continued. “These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes.”

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