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

We’ve already brought you the weirdest and most unexpected stories of 2012 and the most important UK stories of 2012, as well as the top international stories of 2012, now we bring you the most important stories from the USA.

While we cannot claim a thoroughly scientific approach to the rankings, the stories are ordered through a combination of how widely read they were, how much debate they provoked and our own editorial judgement as to the effect they will have on LGBT life.

15 – Judge rules that trans prisoner be given gender-reassignment surgery

In a landmark ruling, Judge Wolf, of Boston, Massachusetts ruled that Michele Kosilek, 63, would be given gender reassignment surgery in prison, as the “only adequate treatment” for her gender dysphoria. He also ruled that her legal costs should be covered.

He said: “there is no less intrusive means to correct the prolonged violation of Kosilek’s Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care.”

Ms Kosilek’s Attorneys had offered to waive their fees, excluding out-of-pocket expenses, on the condition that the Department of Correction did not appeal against Judge Wolf’s ruling.

The Department of Correction made clear that they were to appeal against Judge Wolf’s ruling on September 26.

14 – Video: Rick Santorum said if he had a gay son he would try to be a “good father” to a gay son

In an NBC debate, which featured former Preidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, when asked how he would feel if his son came out to him, Rick Santorum said: “I would love him as much as I did the second before he said it, and I would do everything I can to be as good a father to him as possible.”

Santorum had in the past talked of a “hate the sin, love the sinner” policy towards homosexuality.

He was a signatory to the National Organization for Marriage’s 2012 Presidential Pledge, vowing support for a national constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and preventing state judges from overturning what they deem to be discriminatory marriage laws.

He later joined the campaign against equal marriage in the state of Washington, and has said that if it became a reality, churches and families would be destroyed.

An unidentified artist also created an image of Mr Santorum made entirely out of gay porn. 

13 – One Million Moms was outraged by everything

The campaign group, One Million Moms, which describes itself as ”a network of Christian moms who have joined together to stand up for our children and families,” made several complaints this year.

Offence was taken by the group at things like a GAP advert featuring a gay couple, gay Marvel and DC comic book characters, A pilot for Jennifer Lopez’s new comedy-drama about a lesbian couple and their children, and Ellen Degeneres in a new advert for JC Penney which featured three Christmas elves. 

After anti-gay, “pro-family” campaign group attacked his new show, The New Normal, Glee creator Ryan Murphy has said they might like it if they try it.