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Duterte Reveals His 'Former' Sexuality

'I cured myself,' says the Philippines president
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2019 12:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte—a political hardliner who faces accusations of mass murder—apparently came out as ex-gay during a speech before calling four women to the stage to kiss him, the New York Daily News reports. At the Thursday event in Japan, Duterte also claimed that a gay person had identified Antonio Trillanes, a political rival, as gay: "I said, 'Are you sure?' They said, 'You ask any gay person who sees Trillanes move, they'll say he's gay.' No wonder. Good thing Trillanes and I are similar. But I cured myself." Duterte put it all down to marriage: "When I began a relationship with [ex-wife] Elizabeth Zimmerman, I said, this is it. I became a man again."

Duterte later set parameters for which women could come onstage for a kiss, per CNN Philippines. "First, you shouldn't be married, okay? Second, you're not a minor. You, ma'am, you want a smooch?" he asked with a smack of the lips. The women he approved looked similar, with long hair, pale skin, and slim figures. "Those four," he said. "Come here. Let them in, come on, let them in." All kisses were on the cheek, though one woman seemed uncertain about whether to kiss him on the lips; another was near tears at being called up. Duterte has already made headlines with misogynistic comments, like when he admitted to molesting a sleeping maid and regretted he hadn't attacked a rape victim. (In the US, a former gay-conversion therapist came out as gay.)

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