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Living with chronic pain is no joke. You may look at people without realizing that they are pushing through the pain, discomfort and — at the same time — trying to appear OK. This can be an unpredictable occurrence. A person can feel fine one minute and begin to suffer the next. Some days may be worse than others.

Anyone who knows me knows that I start counting down the minutes until the first day of spring once December starts, and this winter has been especially unkind to those of us who prefer an air temperature above glacier. But going through the milestones to spring, I’m almost ready to start smiling again. Just get The Flower Show started and Daylight Savings Time rebooted and I can glide the rest of the way to 12:15 p.m. March 20. 

The past year saw several attempts to enact policies and legislation that would negatively impact LGBT older adults. Many of these efforts are set to continue in 2018, requiring us to be vigilant against any attempts to deny civil rights, benefits and services that older members of our LGBT communities rely upon.

In early December, SCOTUS heard oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The crux of the case is that bakery owner Jack Phillips sued the CCRC claiming his rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech have been denied when he refused to bake a custom wedding cake for a gay couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins. Citing his religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman, Phillips claims that because he sketches and sculpts his culinary creations, he’s an artist. Therefore, forcing him to make these cakes violated his right to free expression, speech and religious freedom.

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