National News

HIV deaths, rate of infection down

UNAIDS, a United Nations agency involved in HIV programs, has good news in the “Global AIDS Update 2016”. 1.1 million AIDS-related deaths in 2015 were down from a peak of 2 million in 2005 and 1.2 million in 2014. Also 2.1 million new infections were down from 3.4 million in 1998, but up from 2014’s estimate of 2 million.

The falling death rate is attributed to anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs — with 17 million people using ARVs. UNAIDS hoped that ARVs would slow the rate of infections, but the rate has been steady since 2000. The percentage of people with HIV using ARVs has risen from 3 percent in 2000 to 46 percent in 2015.

US Senate approves first openly gay Army secretary

The Senate unanimously approved Eric Fanning as Secretary of the Army after his nomination had been held up because Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) was trying to stop the move of Guantanamo Bay detainees into the United States. Roberts said his opposition was about moving the prisoners, not Fanning’s, “character, courage or capability.”
Fanning was previously the acting secretary and undersecretary of the Air Force.

It isn’t a Queen, but the Prince will do

HRH, Prince William (heir to the British throne) appears on the cover of Attitude magazine, the UK’s best-selling gay magazine.The photo op for the first hereditary royal to appear on an LGBT publication, willingly, came after the magazine brought a group of young LGBTQ people to meet with the prince at Kensington Palace so that he could “listen to their experiences of bullying and the mental health impact it can have.”

The prince, his wife the Duchess of Cambridge and brother Prince Harry have made mental health the main focus of their work. The prince has long championed anti-bullying efforts and shattering stigma surrounding mental health.

Prince William said the young people are “truly brave” for speaking out and “give hope to people who are going through terrible bullying right now.”
See the magazine here: http://attitude.co.uk/making-history-prince-william-appears-on-the-cover-of-attitude/

Muslim Countries: Hold UNAIDS Conference without LGBT groups

57 Muslim countries have asked to ban 50 LGBT groups from attending a United Nations AIDS conference dedicated to ending the global epidemic.

The ban was requested by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, a group that includes Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, protested the decision, noting that the groups “appear to have been chosen for their involvement in LGBTI, transgender or youth advocacy.”

Mass. Gov to sign pro-LGBT legislation

Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker says he’ll sign legislation protecting transgender rights which had been stalled in the legislature for several months. Baker was elected in 2014, beating hapless state Attorney General Martha Coakley.

“We’ve certainly listened to a variety of points of view from many sides and have said from the beginning that we don’t want people to be discriminated against,” Baker said in a May interview with The Boston Globe. The law will allow people to use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity and would protect transgender people from discrimination in barber shops, malls, libraries, restaurants and other public accommodations. It gives the attorney general authority to prosecute “a predator” who may use the law for nefarious purposes.

Are Christian Boy Bands Homo Hot Beds?

In a move described as “brand reinvigoration,” the lead singer of a Christian rock band, Everyday Sunday, Trey Pearson announced he is gay. He joins a flock of Christian (and one Mormon) musicians who have come out as gay or lesbian in recent years.

Mr. Pearson is 35 years old, whose 2009 album “Best Night of Our Lives” reached No. 15 on Billboard’s Christian albums chart and No. 187 on the Billboard 200. The band also produced 20 top-10 singles on the Christian rock charts.

He said he had spent two decades trying to “make himself straight.” He and his wife have separated and share in parenting, he said. “It’s been a really difficult journey to get this point,” he said. “But I feel like I’ve been set free.” The “old ball and chain” refused to comment.

10% – Kinsey is almost right

It appears having queer sex, or at least admitting to it, is becoming more popular.

A study from the Archives of Sexual Behavior, says the number of American adults who say they’ve had a same-sex experience has doubled. “Between 1990 and 2014, the percentage of men who reported having had sex with at least one man increased from 4.5 to 8.2 percent, and the number of women reporting having had sex with at least one woman increased from 3.6 percent to 8.7 percent.” Reportedly, bisexual activity doubled.

The study notes that the acceptance of same-sex relations has skyrocketed to “49 percent of all adults and 63 percent of Millennials.” The report states, “Millennials are more accepting of same-sex behavior than GenX’ers were at the same age.”

This new study falls in line with a 2015 YouGov poll conducted in the UK which found that 50 percent of young (under 62?) people do not identify as exclusively heterosexual. The trend forecasting agency, J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group, reported that 52 percent of Gen Zs (birth years beginning in the mid-1990s) do not identify as exclusively heterosexual.

Answer to a question unasked, Trump is straight

Roger Stone, erstwhile political adviser and longtime friend to Donald Trump discussed with radio host Alex Jones a Washington Post article which Stone calls a “hit piece” about Trump’s drug use and sex life.

Asked about Trump’s drug use, Stone says, “ Donald Trump has never used drugs in his life. The man doesn’t even take aspirin.” As for marital infidelity, Stone obfuscates, “Did he have girlfriends on the side, today or previously? The answer is no. Yes, during the time he was unmarried, he was a ladies man.”

Stone said he was asked whether Donald Trump is gay: “Folks, there is no report Donald Trump is gay. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but he is a red-blooded American male and he is most definitely heterosexual.”

Bob “Straight Line” Henline awarded for stirring the pot in Montana

Erstwhile QSaltLake columnist won two awards from The Montana Newspaper Association. A story on a $1.5 million taxpayer-funded bungle between the city of Libby, Mont. and the local golf course won second place in the enterprise/investigative journalism category. A six-part series he wrote about child sex abuse won first place. The stories appeared in The Western News, a Libby, Mont. newspaper where Bob was the managing editor. He has since left the paper to publish a magazine, Kootenai Country Magazine, dedicated to general tomfoolery.

Bob wrote a column for QSaltLake called “The Straight Line” as well as being a general assignment reporter, muckraker, advertising representative and general factotum for the mighty Q Media empire.

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