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News and Pop Culture Round-Up

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The World's Largest Independent Lesbian and Gay Archive to Get an Upgrade
The world's largest independent lesbian and gay archive — which happens to be right here in Toronto — is about to get a little bit larger. At its last council meeting before the Christmas break, councillors voted to free up about $50-thousand to renovate the century old building on Isabella Street so that it's accessible. That means adding ramps, bigger bathroom spaces and a working elevator. But improvements to the building aside, the collection itself — which includes everything from political buttons to posters, to the shorts worn by Olympic boxer Mark Leduc — is getting bigger all the time.

RELATED Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives Celebrates Its New Home in Toronto

LGBT Groups Criticize Confirmation Of Jeff Sessions As Attorney General
“It's deeply disturbing that Jeff Sessions, who has demonstrated a clear animus against so many Americans – including the LGBTQ community, women and people of color – could be charged with running the very system of justice designed to protect them,” said The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin. “The man now in charge of enforcing hate crimes protections doesn’t even think they should exist – or that LGBTQ people need them. The man now in charge of enforcing civil rights laws is a man who has a history of undermining the rights of African-American voters. Our message to Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions is this: we’re going to fight any attempt to roll back our rights with every resource that we have. We will not give one inch.”

RELATED Conservative Republican Senator Jeff Sessions Confirmed to be Attorney General by US Senate


Openly Gay Pop Singer Olly Alexander Joins Sex Ed Panel at UK Student Pride
A loud and proud LGBT activist, the openly gay singer has previously spoken out at events, including Glastonbury Festival, about the fact that LGBT people “know what it’s like to be scared. We know what it’s like to live with fear; It’s part of our every day”. The Attitude Sex and Relationships Education Panel will take place on Saturday February, 25, 2017 at University of Westminster's Marylebone Campus.


Gay Porn Star Max Schulter Dies at 35
Gay porn star Max Schutler died earlier this month, according to a report from the gay porn news site Str8UpGayPorn. He was 35. A cause of death has not been announced but friends and fans have flooded their condolences on Schutler's personal Facebook page. The site notes Schutler, born Jorge Schmeda, started his career in gay porn in 2007, working with several studios, including Raging Stallion.


Trump, The Supreme Court, And The Rights Of Gays And Lesbians
With the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States instead of Chief Judge Merrick Garland, and with the possibility of another Trump Supreme Court nomination at some point down the road, it is useful to reflect on the history of homosexuality in Western culture and on the pivotal role the Supreme Court has played in helping to shape our nation’s laws in this regard. The plain and simple fact is that, with two Trump appointments to the Supreme Court, should that come to pass, we can expect significant changes in the way the Court approaches the rights of gays and lesbians in the future. Before we get to that point, it is important to understand how we got to where we are today. It is only with that understanding that we can truly comprehend the magnitude of the challenge ahead.

RELATED Texas Court Hearing Case to Limit Gay Marriage Legalization


Conservatives Getting Antsy Over Affordable Care Act Repeal
Leading conservative Republicans from the House and Senate say Congress is moving too slowly on efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. But their potential resistance to compromise — even with other members of their own party — underscores just how hard a task Republicans have set for themselves. After getting off to a quick start, GOP efforts to dismantle the health law appear to have slowed considerably. House and Senate committees have already missed a deadline of Jan. 27 to write and pass their proposed repeal and replace provisions, although Senate leaders acknowledged early this year that marker would likely not be met. At a party retreat last month, Republicans still seemed uncertain exactly how and when they would proceed.


Madrid Plans to Plant Gardens on Top of the City's Buses
Madrid is drawing up plans to plant gardens on the rooftop of the city's buses and bus stops. The authorities in the Spanish capital have come up with the proposals as a novel way of tackling CO2 emissions, The Local reported. The gardens are also intended to soak up heat, noise and pollution. A garden on a bus rooftop will cost 2,500 Euros (£2,143.35). Those on the top of bus shelters will be rather cheaper. The project, known as “Muévete en verde”, is one of six schemes designed to improve the city's environment. They were chosen out of 800 entries.


Weening Yourself Off an Addiction to Sugar
Many people are stress eaters, but I’m a stress faster. When anything puts me out of order to any degree, I forget to eat. I travel a great deal between time zones, too. Between S.A.D., shifting time zones, hectic travel experiences and insomnia,I’ve got all sorts of interruptions that distract me from eating. Perhaps, you go to food to comfort you? I go to starvation. Neither are good, and both create a need for sugar. By the time I realize I need to eat, I’m famished. And that, in addition to everything else, triggers a ravenous need for energy. The fastest source of that energy is refined sugar.

RELATED Sugar: The Bitter Truth


Same-Sex Marriages Are Less Than A Percent of All Denver Marriages
Sure, Denver has the highest concentration of same-sex marriages in Colorado. But it’s still not much — roughly .82 percent of married couples in zip codes beginning with 802 chose a partner of the same gender, according to an analysis by the New York Times. It’s possible the numbers are a bit higher — the NYT is working under the assumption that most married couples filed jointly on their tax returns, and an estimated 97.5 percent do, according to the Treasury Department. Plus, there are seven zip codes at least partially in Denver that don’t begin with 802. At any rate, there are at least 1,236 same-sex marriages around Denver. It’s pretty evenly split between gay and lesbian marriage in the city too; there are just seven more marriages between men than women.

COMMENTARY: “Who Are You to Judge Me!”
“Who are you to judge me!” is a line all of us have used at some point in our life in order to create a protective shield against the negative criticisms hurled upon us by our critics. Also the reverse i.e. ‘who am I to judge you!’ is a fairly common line used by the supporters of LGBTQIA+ rights. There is something inherently wrong in these utterances. I have the utmost respect for all the fellow queer mates, allies and their respective intentions that drive them to utter these but a close analysis of the two aforementioned statements unearth a gaffe and that is a subtle tone of abandonment. Of the two utterances, the latter is a favorite among the closet homophobes as it saves them the trouble of taking a clear stand on homosexuality in public. When one says ‘Who am I to judge you!’ the person actually means that being a human being doesn’t qualify you to be the judge of another human being. Read More

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