So here it is, a short list of a few of my favorite things that occurred in 2010. Barring anything major happening between now and the end of the week, this is my last post of the year. Best wishes and take care.
On 1 February 2010, Fiji became the first Pacific Island nation to formally decriminalize homosexual acts by repealing the old colonial-era Penal Code and replacing it with the new Crimes Act, which removes all clauses about "sodomy" and "unnatural acts" and uses gender neutral language in the remainder of the sexual offenses section. That said, male to male relationships remain illegal in 78 countries, while female to female relationships are illegal in 45 countries. The death penalty for same-sex acts is listed among the laws of eight countries.
Straight allies from all walks of life spoke out against homophobia. Among the broad-minded and courageous individuals who took a stand in 2010 are rugby player Ben Cohen, actor Anne Hathaway, cricketer Jimmy Anderson, college quarterback Dayne Crist, soccer players Mario Gomez and Cristiano Ronaldo, and singer-songwriters Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga.
Famous musicians, athletes, and actors around the world came out of the closet in 2010, including Vampire Weekend’s keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij, Tiziano Ferro, Ricky Martin, Joe McElderry, Blake Skjellerup, and Chely Wright. Wouldn't it be nice if in the future everyone got to a point where sexual orientation was simply a part of our identity that was met with neither applause nor repugnance?
Marriage equality was signed into law in Portugal, Iceland, and Argentina. Whether or not you believe in marriage, the right to this social institution remains a significant marker in the fight for equal rights.
The It Gets Better project has become an international and diverse movement in support of young people struggling with their sexual identity. Let's hope that societies better understand the notion that if something bad happens to a minority, it happens to the majority as well.
Glee and Modern Family were powerful primetime influencers of the ways that gay people are perceived, rejected, and accepted in contemporary society.
Civil society pressured governments to vote to restore the reference to "sexual orientation" in a high-profile United Nations resolution condemning extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions. The Rwandan delegate's pre-ballot speech, in particular, was outstanding for its content and for going against the grain of most African countries.
The discriminatory Don't Ask Don't Tell policy in the United States was finally repealed. Next stop for my American neighbors – the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
According to a 2010 UNAIDS Global report, the world has turned the corner and has begun to reverse the spread of HIV. Let's keep it that way and make decisions that jeopardize neither our health nor our well-being.
Technology. The Web 2.0 ecosystem saw significant advances and increased usage in 2010, allowing for more ways in which to reach people, share ideas and information, and effect positive social change across the globe.
Happy New Year!