Feature: The most important international stories of 2013

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Having brought you the most important UK and US stories of 2013, it is only natural to follow with the most important international stories of the year too.

While we cannot claim a thoroughly scientific approach to the rankings, we have selected the stories 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.

With some ups and some downs, here are what we would consider the most important international stories of 2013 (in no particular order).

India’s Supreme Court reinstates ban on gay sex.


In a shock ruling earlier in December, India’s Supreme Court ruled to ban gay sex.

The Supreme Court upheld a law which criminalises gay sex, reversing a landmark 2009 Delhi High Court order which had legalised same-sex sexual activity.

Section 377 of India’s penal code bans “sex against the order of nature”, which is widely interpreted to mean gay sex, and can be punished with up to 10 years in jail – although at the moment prosecutions remain rare.

Swedish athlete at Moscow Athletics Championship paints nails in rainbow colours against anti-gay law

Rainbow Nails

Swedish High jumper Emma Green-Tregaro, at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, made a stand against anti-gay laws introduced in Russia in June, by painting her nails in rainbow colours.

She admitted she did it to support LGBT people in Russia and was later advised not to do so. She said: “It felt right”.

Uganda passes anti-gay bill


After several years of threats, Uganda’s Parliament last week passed the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The bill increases the penalty for other acts – including mere sexual touching – from seven years to life imprisonment.

It has been widely condemned, including by the UK and US Governments.

Costa Rica accidentally legalises same-sex marriage


In July, Costa Rican officials passed a bill which accidentally approved same-sex unions.

It was after they voted to change a bill which previously only recognised legal partnerships as between a man and a woman that the language of the new legislation allowed same sex-couples to marry.

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