1. Donald Trump does not revoke Obama’s executive orders

Donald Trump (above) will become President of the United States on 20 January 2017. He intends to repeal President Obama’s Executive Orders. This will presumably include the one protecting US federal LGBT employees from discrimination at work.

We’re hoping this – like Trump’s promise to build a border wall between the US and Mexico – is something that doesn’t actually happen.

We can dream, can’t we?

2. Marriage equality comes to Australia

Government plans to have a plebiscite on same-sex marriage equality in Australia have been ditched, so it’s now just down to the politicians to get their act together and make it happen.

Even pop icon Kylie Minogue (pictured top) has said she won’t marry fiancé Joshua Sasse until the gay people can do likewise, so come on, Australia – what are you waiting for?

3. HB2 finally repealed in North Carolina

North Carolina’s HB 2 drew widespread condemnation when it became law in early 2016. The anti-LGBT piece of legislation also saw the state lose millions in business deals.

When Pat McCrory lost his governorship in the November elections, many widely thought new Governor Roy Cooper would swiftly ditch the law.

However, initial attempts have been thwarted by Republicans in the North Carolina Senate.

Cooper has vowed not to give up: ‘When I get sworn in next year, we’re going to work to get this repealed,’ he told National Public Radio recently. ‘Because, number one, it discriminates against people and it’s wrong in and of itself. But we know that this is costing us and we’ve got to fix it.’

4. Uganda Pride goes ahead without any problems

In summer 2016 police raided a beauty pageant associated with Uganda Pride and made arrests. Here’s optimistically hoping the event – which is increasingly gaining international attention and visitors – passes off without any trouble in 2017.

5. A significant fall in the number of people becoming infected with HIV

PEP, PrEP and anti-retroviral treatment is working to drive down infection rates in cities that have high gay populations and access to all forms of treatment.

In September 2016, San Francisco reported a fall in the number of gay men becoming infected with HIV.

In December, leading London clinic 56 Dean Street reported a 40% drop in the number of men it had diagnosed with HIV in the previous 12 months.

For the first time, sexual health advocates are quietly hopeful that the annual UK statistics for HIV transmission will see a significant drop when they’re issued next World AIDS Day.

6. India decriminalizes gay sex

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which dates back to British Colonial times, was reinstated in 2013. The law prohibits ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’, and criminalizes gay sex for both men and women.

In February 2016, India’s Supreme Court referred the law to a five-member bench – sustaining hopes that the law might be overturned.

7. Same-sex unions continue to gain recognition across Japan

In late December it was announced that the northern Japanese city of Sapporo (pop. 2million) was going to offer recognition of same-sex unions. It follows two wards in Tokyo in offering limited recognition of gay relationships.

Although a symbolic recognition rather than legal, it’s a step in the right direction for LGBTI rights in the country.

8. Moonlight wins Golden Globes and Oscars

Not since Brokeback Mountain has a gay-male themed movie been accompanied by so much Oscar talk. Many were disappointed that Carol (starring Cate Blanchett) didn’t win more awards in 2016, so hopes are high around this drama that follows a young black man as he struggles to accept his sexuality.

Moonlight’s already picked up a clutch of Golden Globe and Screen Actor Guild Award nominations.

9. Peru recognizes same-sex civil unions

Several South American countries already recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions, while others – Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay – specifically ban same-sex marriage in their constitutions.

The South American country most likely to recognize civil unions next could be Peru. A new President took office in 2016, and the new second Vice President participated in the Pride Lima march. A civil unions bill was introduced to Congress in October 2016.

10. Three UK soccer players come out

British MP John Nicolson (SNP) said in December that he knows of three soccer players who are in contact with the UK’s Football Association (FA) about coming out as gay.

The FA declined to confirm, merely responding to the press, ‘We have been and are working hard so that if a player felt they wanted to have the conversation about coming out, we would be there and offer any and all the support we could. Ultimately it has to be an individual’s personal choice.’

There are currently no openly gay professional soccer players in the UK.

11. Marriage equality in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland remains the only part of the United Kingdom to not have marriage equality.

The DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) has consistently blocked votes to change the law, and in October, First Minister Arlene Foster said the party would continue to blocks attempts for the next five years, especially after she had received online abuse from those wanting marriage equality.

Here’s hoping she – and the DUP – have a change of heart.

12. Russia allows an LGBTI pride parade to go ahead

Authorities in the Russian city of Ivanovo granted permission for an LGBTI Pride march to go ahead last summer… only to swiftly revoke permission when the news spread on Russian websites.

Authorities later blamed the incident on an administrative ‘mix up’. Russia has a law in place prohibiting any promotion of ‘non-traditional’ lifestyles to minors, and has used it to ban LGBT Pride marches.

13. Other countries follow Malta’s lead and ban gay cure therapy

In December, Malta became the first country in Europe to ban ‘conversion therapy’, with the threat of jail for any doctor or other medical expert who tries to change someone’s sexuality. Here’s hoping other countries in Europe, and further afield, follow Malta’s example.

14. Saara Aalto becomes a global superstar

Aalto, from Finland, was the surprise runner-up on the latest UK season of X Factor.

The singer – engaged to marry to her girlfriend – won over the hearts of the British public despite repeatedly ending up in the last-place sing-off in the early stages of the live performance shows.

However, her popularity grew week upon week. She lost out to Matt Terry in the final, but has already been signed to a five-album deal by Sony UK and Sony Finland and is working with Sia on new material. We’re hoping 2017 will bring her deserved chart success.

15. Ricky Martin and fiancé Jwan Yosef throw a huge wedding

Martin announced his engagement to artist Yosef in November. We’re imagining Ricky’s sons Matteo and Valentino as page boys. And after 2016, we could do with a beautiful, romantic wedding to cheer us up!

 

This article was originally published on Gay Star News. Read the original article.