Across the globe, legislation for the rights of same-sex couples has been gaining momentum. In South Africa, the highest court legalized same-sex unions in November, making it the first African nation to do so. That same month, in a ruling that infuriated the ultra-Orthodox community there, Israel’s supreme court ordered the government to recognize same-sex marriages performed abroad. In January, a lesbian couple registered as Mexico’s first same-sex union in the state of Coahuila, the first of 31 states in Mexico to legally recognize such unions. A month later, two Roman Catholic countries made surprising advances: Colombia’s Constitutional Court granted gay couples living together for more than two years the same inheritance guarantees as heterosexuals in common law marriages. Similarly, Italy’s cabinet approved rights for unwed couples, including gay ones, in which they would be guaranteed inheriting property and receiving a deceased partner’s pension. This bill is still waiting approval from Italy’s parliament. Eastern Europe didn’t fare as well, when Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov barred the city’s “satanic” Pride parade in May, for what he claims were security reasons. His police force then failed to protect the LGBT people who participated despite the ban and were attacked by onlookers. In July, city authorities in Riga, Latvia, denied LGBT organizations’ request for a permit for a Pride festival march. Pictured: a gay rights demonstration in Rome.