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People dance and cheer during the annual Gay Pride Parade in Montevideo, on September 30, 2011. Hundredsof gays, lesbians and people supporting them in their fight for equal rights for homosexuals, took part in a cheerful and colorful parade along Montevideo's main avenue by night. (Pablo Porciuncula/AFP/Getty Images)
Editor's Note: We invite you to explore the global struggle for gay rights in 20 countries through Rainbow Planet's interactive map which features population statistics, spendingpower, legal struggles, advances and setbacks and, most importantly, voices of men and women who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

BOSTON — All across the world, countries, cultures,societies and religions are struggling with the issue of gay rights.

Over the last year, GlobalPost correpondents from China to Chile, Uganda to Lebanon have reported on compelling stories of the struggleof lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people for their rights.

Our stories recorded legal advances, like in Spain and Argentina, as well as setbacks, as in China, and complicated storiesof how traditional societies are grappling with the issue, like in Senegal.

As the stories accumulated, we recognized that gay rights is an issue that resonates around the globe and so we decidedto do this survey of 20 countries. Our team found lightness, dark and most of all a half-light, where some progress in gay rights has been achieved but there are still obstacles.

In Australia,Sydney’s Gay Pride parade is a festive carnival-like street celebration where thousands of tourists go to see transvestites in extravagant costumes cavort with musclemen. It would seem that the land downunder is a place where gays can enjoy full rights and tolerance. But our reporter found that Australian laws do not allow gay marriage and in our interviews some Australian gay men say they still do...
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