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The suit against Spark states that, at the time of its filing, individuals wishing to use the Spark dating sites for Christians, Catholics, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, military singles and black singles could only choose from two options on the home screens of these services: "a man seeking a woman" or "a woman seeking a man." Last week, approximately 2½ years after the lawsuit was originally filed, Judge Jane L.Johnson of the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County approved a settlement agreement in which Spark agreed to modify its site and search features to include LGBT singles within two years.The first of these was the imprisonment of George Everett Klippert, a mechanic from the Northwest Territories arrested in 1965 on charges of “gross indecency.” After being deemed a “dangerous sexual offender” by prison psychiatrists, his prison term was extended indefinitely — a ruling that was scrutinized and criticized in the mainstream press.The second was the British parliament’s decision to decriminalize certain homosexual offenses.

states, such as Rhode Island, have blamed the rise of sexually transmitted diseases on social media tools like Tinder and Grindr, which allow users to search for potential partners with the simple swipe of a screen. Aids Healthcare Foundation took it a step further, putting up billboards across Los Angeles showing two pairs of silhouetted figures face to face.

Yet despite all the finger-pointing at these social media dating tools, some researchers say there just hasn't been enough research done to prove a link between these apps and the rise of sexually transmitted infections.

"It's very easy for policy-makers and other public health officials to make these broad statements about the apps being the reason that STIs are spiking," said Ian Holloway, assistant professor of social welfare at UCLA who has done research into these issues. "We don't know if apps are driving these epidemiological trends." The apps obviously facilitate meeting, he said, and for those interested in having sex with a lot of people, they would be a logical place to look.

Debate on the issue had been escalating in both British and Canadian media through the previous decade, following the release in 1957 of a public inquiry known as the Wolfenden Report, which recommended decriminalization.

In the summer of 1967, those recommendations were finally adopted, and with the embarrassing Klippert controversy still ongoing, several members of Canada’s parliament, including Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau, began calling for reform.

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