[Weekly Review] | June 30, 2015, by Camille Bromley | Harper's Magazine

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The United States legalizes same-sex marriage, the Islamic State bombs a Shiite mosque, and a man named Rod is struck by lighting

his majesty frank penguin, king of the brutes

his majesty frank penguin, king of the brutes

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was a constitutional right guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, making the United States the 21st country in the world to allow same-sex couples to marry.[1][2][3] Four justices dissented from the ruling, including Antonin Scalia. “Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage,” he wrote in his opinion. “Ask the nearest hippie.”[4] At least four counties in Alabama responded to the decision by ceasing to issue marriage licenses of any kind; in Mississippi, only one couple was married before the state’s attorney general blocked courts from issuing same-sex marriage licenses; and officials in Williamson County, Texas, informed waiting couples that no licenses could be issued until its marriage-licensing software was updated to include fields for same-sex couples.[5][6][7] Millions of people attended gay-pride parades across the United States, including 26,000 who marched in San Francisco and 22,000 in New York City. Sixty thousand marched in Dublin, where gay marriage was legalized one month ago; hundreds of thousands participated in a pride parade in Berlin; and 500 attended a celebration in Manila. In Istanbul, where homosexuality is not illegal, police dispersed a pride parade with rubber bullets and water cannons.[8] The front of the White House was lit in rainbow colors, and a man in Little Rock complained to a local NBC affiliate that the news outlet had changed its logo to the “colors of the gays,” referring to the rainbow-colored peacock mascot the network has used, with minor variations, since 1956.[9] At a gay-pride parade in London, a correspondent for CNN mistook a black-and-white flag depicting dildos and butt plugs for that of the Islamic State. “I seem to be the only person,” said the reporter, “who has spotted this.”[10]

President Barack Obama sang “Amazing Grace” at the funeral of Reverend Clementa Pinckney, one of nine African Americans shot and killed this month in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, by a 21-year-old white supremacist.[11] Alabama removed four Confederate flags from its state capitol grounds, Georgia ceased issuing specialty license plates depicting two Confederate battle flags, and an African-American woman scaled the 30-foot steel flagpole in front of the South Carolina statehouse to remove its Confederate flag, which officials then raised again 45 minutes later.[12][13][14] The Senate passed legislation allowing Obama to accelerate negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, and the Supreme Court upheld subsidies for federally operated insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. “It’s been,” said Obama, “a good week.”[15][16] In Tunisia, a man entered a luxury resort, drew a Kalashnikov assault rifle from his umbrella, and attacked tourists on the beach, at the hotel pool, and in the lobby, killing at least 38 people.[17] In Kuwait, an Islamic State-affiliated suicide bomber killed 27 people inside a Shiite mosque.[18][19] At a U.S.-owned industrial chemical plant near Lyon, France, a deliveryman decapitated his boss and hung the head from a fence.[20] Piñatas resembling Donald Trump, who was fired from NBC after calling Mexican immigrants rapists, went on sale in Mexico.[21] A vortex developed in Oklahoma’s Lake Texoma, and in Chebanse, Illinois, a man named Rod was struck by lightning.[22][23]

An Australian woman was reported to have suffered nerve damage after squatting in skinny jeans, and Washington University researchers found that obese Americans outnumber overweight Americans.[24][25] An unidentified odor from a refrigerator in Kentucky sent 11 people to the hospital with skin irritation and nausea; authorities in China announced that they had seized $483 million worth of 40-year-old meat, which organized crime syndicates had planned to sell; and as many as 1,000 people suffered severe diarrhea after completing a Mud Day obstacle course in Nice.[26][27][28] A python got tangled in the hair of five-year-old twins from Alabama, beekeepers began extracting 1 million honeybees living beneath the siding of a house in New York State, and animal rescue services discovered 300 rats in a two-room apartment in Munich.[29][30][31] A bag of headless goats was found on Long Island; a German woman took photos of herself covered with ketchup and sent them to her ex-lover, who reported her death to police; and a Norwegian sexual-health charity hired a teenager named Philip van Eck to wear a penis costume and spray passers-by with golden confetti. “I can do a good thing for others,” said van Eck, “just by being a dick.”[32][33][34]

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