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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: Meet the Mormon gay men married to women

The very best of the week’s writing from around the web.

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.

We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.

1. How I fell for ISIS

Isis Company Names Source: AP/Press Association Images

‘Alex’ is 23, lonely and living in the middle of nowhere in the US. She went online to find out more about ISIS, and wound up befriending some of its fighters. Her secret life is unveiled here.

(The New York Times, approx 27 mins reading time, 5464 words)

They sent her money and plied her with gifts of chocolate. They indulged her curiosity and calmed her apprehensions as they ushered her toward the hard-line theological concepts that ISIS is built on.

2. The families of hostages 

Top Stories New Hampshire Source: AP/Press Association Images

Their children have been kidnapped by terrorists – and in some cases killed by them – and they are desperate for help. But it doesn’t always come from those with the power to help them.

(New Yorker, approx 105 mins reading time, 21018 words)

The Foleys believed that the Syrian government was holding their son, and in January, 2013, they publicly called for his release. Bradley wrote a note to Diane offering to help. Initially, she thought it unnecessary. Philip Balboni had hired Kroll, the investigations and security-consulting firm, and the F.B.I. was also on the case, so the Foleys felt that they were in good hands. By spring, however, their opinion had changed, especially of officials at the bureau.

3. Fracking, babies, and death

shutterstock_88040917 Source: Shutterstock/Olesia Bilkei

There’s a shockingly high infant mortality rate in Vernal, Utah. And when one midwife tried to look into it, she says she was stonewalled.

(Rolling Stone, approx 34 mins reading time, 6862 words)

The county merely counted up infant deaths and brushed aside the facts about Vernal air pollution: ozone readings that rivaled the worst days of summer in New York, Los Angeles or Salt Lake City; particulate matter as bad as Mexico City; and ground air fraught with carcinogenic gases like benzene, rogue emissions from oil and gas drilling. Indeed, pollution was so bad in this rural bowl that it broke new ground in climate science.

4. Gay men married to women

Philippines Gay Pride Source: Bullit Marquez

These Mormon men are gay, but they’re also married to women – and want to stay that way. And some of them are opposed to same-sex marriage.

(Talking Points Memo, approx 17 mins reading time, words)

In the post, he answered the question everyone had: He has sex exclusively with his wife. The way he describes it, it’s sex not based on physical attraction but on a deep spiritual connection, unfettered by biology, and “the powerful chemicals of infatuation and obsession that usually bring a couple together.”

5. I did it my weigh

shutterstock_147927137 Source: Shutterstock/tmcphotos

Marcia Aldrich writes about food, weight, and the secret struggle to be thin.

(The Butter, approx 25 mins reading time, 5101 words)

I understand why some people, particularly women, but not only women, become secret eaters. In public they eat like birds pecking at their food. They appear to be immune to hunger pangs nor are they tempted by luscious foods laid out on groaning tables. However, these same women who push their plates away in public, are apt to steal down in to the kitchen when no one is looking, when others are asleep in their beds, and stick a spoon into a jar of peanut butter or a quart of ice cream in a feverish spell.

6. Who killed Jessica Chambers?

shutterstock_227430652 Source: Shutterstock/LukaTDB

Jessica Chambers’ death is a mystery, but amateur online sleuths are trying to figure out what happened. Buzzfeed delves into whether this is a good – or terrible – idea.

(Buzzfeed, approx 37 mins reading time, 7406 words)

It was late May, nearly six months since Lisa’s 19-year-old daughter was burned alive in her 2005 Kia Rio on a rural road two miles from home. Lisa was spending the afternoon as she has most days since: curled up on her couch in the dark, chain-smoking and chatting with people on the internet who are obsessed with Jessica’s still-unsolved murder.


Philippines Gay Pride Source: Bullit Marquez

Edith and Thea met in the 1960s, fell in love, and later won a landmark case for gay marriage in the US.

(The New Yorker, approx 41 mins reading time, 8324 words)

Once, when Spyer was alive, Windsor attended a meeting with the head of the Human Rights Coalition, at which someone asked him about gay marriage. He replied that it was something that ought to be dealt with later. Windsor stood up and barked, “I’m seventy-seven years old, and I can’t wait!”

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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