Arguing about gays. Thinkstock

MONDAY, APRIL 27 This riotously American week in America kicked off in Baltimore, where today brought the funeral for Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old African American man who was arrested after running away from police in a high-crime area while carrying a knife on his person, and who wound up dead from a spinal-cord injury sustained after his aforementioned run and before his arrival at the police station. "At Gray's funeral, speaker after speaker before the crowd packing the 2,500-seat New Shiloh Baptist Church said the world was watching to see if justice would be done for Gray," reported Reuters. Hours after the funeral, the watching world got a serious show, as rioters rioted, looters looted, and the chronically traumatized Baltimore burned, with Maryland governor Larry Hogan declaring a state of emergency and the nation-guarding National Guard brought in to restore order. By the time police pepper-sprayed the situation into submission for the night, 254 people had been arrested, 98 police officers had been injured, and the whole thing escalated into an event of the magnitude that'll be remembered through iconic images and historical impact. So thanks to Mother Jones for showcasing the stories of eyewitnesses, who offered details on the prickly beginnings of the henceforth monolithic Baltimore Riots, suggesting antagonistic actions by police—who arrived in full riot gear, reportedly acting on "credible threats" of a violent, gang-driven uprising—inflamed a dicey but nonviolent situation. "According to eyewitnesses in the Mondawmin neighborhood, the police were stopping buses and forcing riders, including many students who were trying to get home, to disembark," reported Mother Jones. "Cops shut down the local subway stop. They also blockaded roads near the Mondawmin Mall and Frederick Douglass High School, which is across the street from the mall, and essentially corralled young people in the area." In closing, Reuters reported, "Police have said they would conclude their investigation by Friday and forward the results to state prosecutors." (Spoiler alert: foreshadowing.)

TUESDAY, APRIL 28 Speaking of days that history will remember, the week continued in Washington, DC, as the US Supreme Court heard arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, popularly known as "the gay marriage case." At issue: whether constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law support a right to same-sex marriage (and, if they don't, whether states that restrict marriage to the union of one man and one woman must recognize legal same-sex marriages from other states). "The lead petitioner is James Obergefell, who wanted his home state of Ohio, which bans gay marriage, to recognize his Maryland marriage to John Arthur as Arthur was dying from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease," reported Reuters. "Obergefell sought to have his name on Arthur's death certificate as surviving spouse." Summary of "pro" arguments: Fair is fair, marriage equality does nothing to harm the preexisting rights and privileges enjoyed by male-female married couples, and the idea of millennia of "traditional marriage" being ruined by marriage equality is bunk (marriage has been an ever-evolving concept forever). Summary of "con" arguments: The traditional family will wither and die and America will be doomed to hell. A decision is expected by late June.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29 The week continued exactly where we left it: in Washington, DC, where today Cyndi Lauper—an artist so accomplished she lacks only the O from EGOT—testified in front of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies about the need for increased resources to combat youth homelessness. Of particular interest to Lauper: the plight of transgender kids, who make up an estimated 40 percent of all homeless youth. "Basically, the kids come out and they get thrown out," said Lauper in testimony that's gloriously easy to imagine being spoken in her Brooklyn Betty Boop patois. "Truth is, they didn't choose their identity. You know, it's like you choosing the color of your eyes. You know, you're born that way." The 61-year-old Lauper's knockout finale: "If it's a faith issue, I implore you not to pray to God to change your kid. Pray to God to change your heart."

THURSDAY, APRIL 30 Nothing happened today, unless you count the Facebook post by Baltimore public defender Marci Tarrant Johnson, who reported on the alarming conditions at Baltimore's Central Booking, where more than one hundred people were held in overcrowded cells with deplorable conditions for 48 hours before being released with no charges ever filed against them. "They're denying due process to people," said human rights lawyer Nicole Lee to Newsweek. "This is an issue of the City of Baltimore having to respect their citizens."

FRIDAY, MAY 1 Speaking of Baltimore and the fallout from the death of Freddie Gray, today brought a bracing press conference led by Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, who proclaimed that police officers "illegally arrested" Gray (whose alleged switchblade was actually a lawful knife), shared the coroner's findings that Gray's death was the result of homicide, and announced criminal charges against the six Baltimore police officers implicated in Gray's death. Among the charges: assault, false imprisonment, manslaughter, and second-degree depraved heart murder. ("Depraved heart murder is a super manslaughter case," attorney Walter Balint told Newsweek. "It is like taking a loaded gun and firing it down the street. You kill someone standing on the other side of the street with that shot. You didn't intend that specific victim, but you killed someone.") "To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for 'No Justice, No Peace,'" said Mosby. "Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man."

SATURDAY, MAY 2 Nothing happened today, unless you count noted woman-beater Floyd Mayweather boringly scoring more punching points than antigay loser Manny Pacquiao in a "boxing match."

SUNDAY, MAY 3 The week ended in Texas, where tonight a pair of gunmen attacked the site of a "Draw Muhammad" contest, nonfatally shooting a security guard before being shot dead by police. By tomorrow, one of the dead suspects will be identified as Elton Simpson, an American Muslim from Phoenix who's been on the FBI's terror watch list for the past five years. There is still no word on who won the drawing contest. recommended

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