4 – Australian Parliament votes against legalising same-sex marriage

It wasn’t all good news on the global equal marriage front. In September, lawmakers in the Australian Parliament overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have introduced equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard remained against supporting equal marriage.

5 – France pushes ahead with equal marriage – despite mass protests

Equal marriage was an issue that dominated the globe in 2012, but perhaps nowhere quite as visible as in France – the world’s most romantic nation – where enormous protests both against and in support of the measure took place towards the close of the year. Unlike his predecessor, Nicholas Zarkozy, France’s new president in 2012, Francois Hollande, came to power strongly supporting equal marriage.

The French Parliament will debate a marriage equality bill early in 2013.

6 – Uganda remains top for Africa’s gay hate

Uganda was intent on keeping its crown as Africa’s loudest gay rights critic in 2012. The speaker of the country’s parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, promised to pass the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill by Christmas – yet MPs broke up for the year without debating the measure. The bill threatens to impose draconian sentences and even the death penalty for those found convicted of breaking the proposed law.

7 – Pope: Same-sex marriage threatens humanity

Pope Benedict XVI retained his position as the world’s most outspoken religious leader, attacking equal marriage and gay relationships in general at regular points throughout 2012. The Pope seemed convinced that marriage equality would cause the end of the world; he was quick off the mark with the warning in January.