Over the last 43 years of this publication, we felt we saw about almost everything you could see in politics. But never did we witness a year when candidates for public office use their commercials to totally devalue their opponents — labeling them everything from child molesters to supporting terrorists.

It’s not the most pleasant question to think about, but at some point it must be addressed: How do you want to spend your final years of life? To the extent that we have any control over our life span, as we grow older, we come closer to death. So, really — how do you want to spend those final years? And, as an LGBTQ person, how to find caretakers and a place where you are accepted for who you are?

In the absence of national leadership on LGBTQ equality, cities and even towns are stepping up to pass ordinances protecting basic rights for citizens.

On Monday, the State Department began requiring all employees to be married in order to receive family benefits and, for overseas staff, diplomatic passports and immunity.

This is a rollback from a policy that permitted full benefits for domestic partners. The next day, State Department officials announced that G-category visas — used for diplomats and employees of international organizations operating in the United States, such as the United Nations — will not be issued to same-sex partners of those employees.

Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison this week for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004, who was 30 years old at the time.

The professional athlete, who came out as a lesbian to refute Cosby’s allegations that he knew how to read women’s desires, describes the assault: “I was paralyzed and completely helpless. I could not move my arms or legs. I couldn’t speak or even remain conscious. I was completely vulnerable, and powerless to protect myself.”

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