Bits & Pieces

Canada

The Globe and Mail reported that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning to apologize to homosexuals who lost their jobs, were denied promotions, and jailed due to their sexual orientation. Trudeau told reporters before the Montreal Pride Parade “it’s good to acknowledge wrongs but it is has to be followed by something concrete” … Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown released a letter August 24 reiterating the position on which he campaigned and won the PC leadership in 2015, namely to “scrap the controversial changes to sex-ed introduced by Premier Wynne” and develop a new age-appropriate curriculum in consultation with parents … Alberta’s NDP Education Minister David Eggen issued “An Open Letter to Alberta’s Students” saying students have the right to “use the washroom that is consistent with your gender identity” and that “you have the right to create a Gay-Straight Alliance or a Queer-Straight Alliance, and you have the right to name your clubs this way.” The letter provides Ministry contact information for students to call if schools are not abiding their wishes. Donna Trimble of Parents for Choice in Education said Eggen is breaking his promise to her group, saying they met in May and he agreed that anti-bullying guidelines were optional for schools … Eggen told the Lethbridge Herald that “research needs to be done” to determine how well homeschooled children “do at the post-secondary level,” triggering suspicion the NDP government could curtail the rights of homeschoolers. Sheila Gunn Reid of Ezra Levant’s Rebel Media, said Eggen “is looking for a reason to curb homeschool funding and rein in families that homeschool. Clearly he wants to discourage it as an educational choice” … Kristen Worley, a Canadian competitive cyclist who transitioned from a man to a woman, has brought forth a case to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal complaining that various sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee, are discriminating against her based on sex. Worley claims that the amount of synthetic testosterone that the International Cycling Union allows an athlete to take for health reasons is not enough to maintain his full health. The tribunal stated that it had no power over the IOC or the World Anti-Doping Agency, but the case could change the guidelines of both national and international cycling organizations.

United States

During the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July, the Platform Committee called for overturning the Hyde Amendment that prohibits federal funding of abortion with Medicaid funds. Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey Jr., wrote a letter to the committee saying the Amendment “is a consensus-based policy that has, for many years, prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for abortion,” and reminded committee members that “many Americans remain morally opposed to abortion, and do not wish their tax dollars to pay for abortion.” Another Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, said of the new policy “that’s crazy” … At the Republican National Convention, openly gay businessman Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal, spoke from the podium to endorse Donald Trump. He said the political parties must move away from “phoney culture wars” to focus on the countries economic problems … CNN reported that Trump was the first Republican presidential nominee not to mention God at his nominating convention … The Centers for Disease Control said that first-quarter data for 2016 on “general fertility rate” of 60.0 per 1000 women 15-44 years of age which is slightly lower than previous years. The fertility rate for women in their teens and 20s was lower but increased for women in their 30s and the same for older women, perhaps suggesting that women are putting off child-bearing rather than forsaking it completely.

International

A group calling itself the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion (ICWRSA) which claims a network of 1,800 member groups and individuals from 115 countries, issued an open letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of UN sub-agencies calling for the UN to make Sept. 28 the organization’s official “Safe Abortion Day.” The letter states “abortion is one of the safest medical procedures” and adds, somewhat contradictorily, “yet half of all abortions internationally are still unsafe, making the need for concerted action urgent.” ICWRSA claims global deaths from unsafe abortions totalled more than 43,000 in 2013. Rebecca Oas of the Center for Family and Human Rights, said research suggests abortion is unsafe regardless of whether it is legal or not. She said “what women need is better maternal healthcare” … On July 26, Satoshi Uematsu, 26, stabbed and killed 19 mentally disabled people in a facility ward for the mentally disabled in Sagamihara, Japan. In February, Uematsu had delivered a letter to Parliament which stated that all disabled people should be put to death through “a world that allowed mercy killing” so as to possibly “revitalize the world economy” and “prevent World War III.”

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