As 2012 draws to a close, takes a look back at the biggest international stories of the last twelve months.

1 – Australian Salvation Army Officer: Gay people should be put to death

The Salvation Army’s reputation for being above the overtly homophobic behaviour of US evangelical churches suffered a knock in 2012, when in a discussion for Australia’s Joy 94.9 FM, a senior official in the Australian Salvation Army suggested that sexually active LGBT people should be put to death.

2 – Iranian President denounces gay people as ‘ugly’

Going on Piers Morgan’s chat show to equate homosexuality with stealing and telling the presenter that being gay is “ugly” was always likely to catapult Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into the headlines; his country was still executing people for being gay in 2012.

3 – Anderson Cooper confirms he’s gay

America’s highest profile TV journalist publicly confirmed he happened to be gay during July. As the biggest star of CNN, Anderson Cooper said his longstanding silence on the question of his sexual orientation was motivated in part by his personal desire for privacy and for his neutrality and personal safety as a journalist.