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National World

National, World news briefs

Written by Craig Ogan
Mayor Pete jumps in

Pete Buttigieg is officially running for president on the Democratic Party ticket, and jumped up to third place in national polls behind Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. He also is in contention in early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire. His campaign scored well in the money race, hauling in over $5 million on announcement day. The 37-year-old made the announcement from an old Studebaker factory in South Bend, Indiana, where he has served as mayor since 2012. So far his campaign is light on issues, but is benefiting from the combination of Midwest Nice and a fabulous gay man personality. He campaigns with his husband, Chasten, who has perfected the Nancy Reagan adoring gaze and Michelle Obama eye roll.

Arizona No Homo Promo

As Utah goes, so goes Arizona. The Republican-dominated legislature just repealed a nearly 30-year-old law that prohibits schools from conducting education on HIV/AIDS that “promotes a homosexual lifestyle.” Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., swiftly signed the bipartisan bill after the Senate’s 19-10 vote on Thursday, calling it a “common sense solution.” The new law renders moot a lawsuit filed by Equality Arizona challenging the old law, which the Arizona Attorney General declined to defend.

Under the knife in Iran

The world’s leading provider of gender reassignment surgery turns out to be the Islamic Republic of Iran. Attitudes towards sexuality can be rigid in Iran. Former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, once declared that the country didn’t have any gay people. The regime’s encouragement of sex-change surgery is related to its intolerance of homosexuality, which is a capital offense. Gay Iranians face pressure to surgically change their sex regardless of whether they want to, say activists and psychologists in Iran. The procedure has been permitted since the mid-1980s.

Michigan Christian Adoption Agency bends over

Bethany Christian Services a faith-based foster care and adoption contractor involved in more than 13,000 foster care and adoption cases in Michigan said Monday it will place children in LGBT homes. The agency was sanctioned by the state for refusing adoption services to a same-sex couple. St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Lansing, is still under sanction and is suing the state. BCS, not happy about the requirement, but likes the state funding, released a statement, “We are disappointed with how this settlement agreement has been implemented by the state government. Nonetheless, Bethany will continue operations in Michigan, in compliance with our legal contract requirements.”

Canada Equality Loon decried

Canada isn’t pleasing anyone with a new $1 ‘Equality coin’ commemorating the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality. Some LGBTQ activists are unhappy because they say equality was not achieved in 1969 and has not yet been achieved. Others are unhappy because the coin suggests credit for equality should be given to “the Canadian government — specifically … former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.” Mint president Marie Lemay tried to make lemonade out of lemons, saying the design was “inspirational” and, “I see this morning it already has and spurred reflection on 50 years of progress while acknowledging … that the journey towards full equality for Canadians of all genders, identities, and sexual orientations was hard fought and is not yet over.”

The gay cure is in Kuwait

In Kuwait, a college professor claimed that she has found a cure for homosexuality. It’s a suppository that will kill what she calls a “sperm-eating anal worm that facilitates excessive sexual urges.” Dr. Mariam Al-Sohel in a TV interview said, “This is science, so there is nothing to be ashamed of. The sexual urge develops when a person is sexually attacked, and afterward it persists because there is an anal worm that feeds on semen.” Whew, can’t make this stuff up.

PrEP price gouge investigated

Seven US Senators sent a letter Tuesday to HHS and the CDC, asking the agencies to investigate Gilead Sciences for sales of the HIV drug Truvada. They say the patent is owned by the federal government for the drug. It is the only drug approved for use in the HIV-prevention method known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. It is also used in HIV treatment in combination with other drugs. The research that led to Truvada’s use as PrEP was conducted and funded by the US government. Gilead sold $3 billion worth of Truvada in 2018 and argues that the government patent is invalid, and the company has turned down requests for royalty payments. The Justice Department has begun reviewing the patent issue.

PHOTO: Ariz. Governor Doug Ducey

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Craig Ogan

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