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During June's LGBT Equality rally in Warsaw
During June's LGBT Equality rally in Warsaw

WARSAW — Even as change spreads from such historically Catholic countries as Ireland and Mexico, same-sex marriage rights still look to be years away in Poland, home to a diehard traditional Catholicism that some say was even too pious for Pope Francis.

The 2015 Eurobarometer survery found that just 28% of Poles favored same-sex marriage, with 61% against. Still, Newsweek Polska reports this month on five gay and lesbian couples in Poland who have decided to publicly fight for their right to get married. All five couples were rejected by their local city administrations and later lost their appeals to city officials.

Krzysztof �oś and Grzegorz Lepianka have been together for 13 years. "Having to explain why I want to get married with somebody that I love is itself an insult," Lepianka told Newsweek Polska. "What could be the reason after 13 years together, apart from the fact that I love him? We really love each other and we want the country to acknowledge it."

The couples have established the Coalition in Aid of Civil Partnerships and Marriage Equality, and are taking their cases to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Indeed Italy, another country with a close relationship with the Catholic Church, also took a European path to finally recognize same-sex unions earlier this year — though that path began way back in 2002.

Still, change has been accelerating, and today only six EU countries do not have any laws allowing for same-sex marriage or civil partnerships: Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Poland. But in Poland, at least, the ball is now rolling.


Same-Sex Marriage Goes Globalby Worldcrunch

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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