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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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'PRETTY MUCH SAYS IT ALL'

‘Pathetic’: Trump Called a ‘Monster’ for Declaring There’s ‘Not Much’ He Could Have Done Differently on COVID

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President Donald Trump is now saying there’s “not much” he could have done differently in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, despite having more than 225,000 deaths and over 8.5 million cases on his record.

By almost every metric President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is the worst of any large nation. The United States has by far the most COVID-19 cases. In second place is India, with a population four times that of the U.S.

America has had the most coronavirus deaths. On a per-capita basis for number of deaths the U.S. comes in at number 12 out of 217 countries and other politically-recognized areas. That means there are 205 nations that have done a better job than the U.S. under President Donald Trump.

“With COVID,” Sinclair Broadcasting’s Eric Bolling asked Trump in a Rose Garden interview that will air this week, “is there anything that you think you could have done differently, if you had a mulligan or a do-over on one aspect of the way you handled it, what would it be?”

Trump’s reply?

“Not much.”

In other words, he thinks he did a great job.

“Look, it’s all over the world, you have a lot of great leaders, a lot of smart people, it’s all over the world. I came out of China, they should have stopped it.”

The President is being excoriated for his laissez faire attitude toward the deadly disease.

 

 

 

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ONE STEP AT A TIME OR NOT ENOUGH?

Pope Francis Says Same-Sex Couples Should Be ‘Legally’ Protected by Civil Unions

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Pope Francis is calling for same-sex couples to be “legally” protected by civil union laws.

“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family,” the Pope says in a new documentary, Catholic News Agency reports. “They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”

Later, Pope Francis defended his remarks in the film, saying, “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.”

“I stood up for that,” he added.

The Pope said nothing about the morality of same-sex relationships, which the Catholic Church still vehemently opposes.

The Vatican leader’s remarks, while a step forward, show the Roman Catholic Church continues to treat LGBTQ people unequally.

Some are calling the Pope’s remarks a “major shift,” and a “long overdue moment.” Others have noted to Catholics in countries where same-sex relationships or marriages are banned it is a welcome sign.

Pope Francis continues to oppose marriage for same-sex couples. He has a lengthy record of vacillating between making compassionate statements about same-sex couples and gay people, while denouncing in the strongest possible terms affording them the same rights and responsibilities as those in different-sex marriages.

In 2014, for example, Pope Francis called same-sex marriage “anthropological regression.”

One year later he said same-sex marriage threatened to “disfigure God’s plan.”  He later called marriages of same-sex couples “disfigured.” Also in 2015 he announced support for constitutional bans on marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.

The following year Francis said the Catholic Church and Christians “must ask forgiveness” and “apologize” to gay people.  In 2018 the Pope reportedly told a gay man, “God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say.”

 

Image by Long Thiên via Flickr and a CC license

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BAD INVESTMENT?

Trump Campaign Cash Crisis: Biden Has Nearly Three Times More Money and President Won’t Ante Up

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With less than two weeks until Election Day and with nearly than 40 million Americans having already voted Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has a commanding lead in the polls and nearly three times as much cash in the bank.

According to Politico, former Vice President Biden has $177 million in cash on hand. President Donald Trump has just $63 million.

By comparison, at this point in his 2012 re-election race then-President Barack Obama had $100 million in cash, and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney had “almost exactly the amount Trump has left this year.”

Biden is in a good position, Trump is not.

And yet America’s billionaire president, who promised when he first ran four years he would self fund but didn’t, and promised months ago he would pony up cash to help his campaign if it were running short, hasn’t.

Just six weeks ago Trump was bragging he has “double, maybe even triple” the cash on hand that he did four years ago, “but if we needed any more I’d put it up personally.”

Trump hasn’t lent his campaign money, nor has he given his campaign any money this year – except for a mere $8,000.

It’s a staggeringly small sum, one some might say reflects what he thinks his chances of winning are and what his presidency is worth.

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