12. San Francisco
San Francisco has been called the gay capital of the world, with 15.4 percent of the city's population identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. When San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom began issuing same-sex marriage licenses in 2004, nearly 3,200 couples lined up to get hitched. Continuing domestic political battles about gay marriage have kept the city in the global spotlight. Above, a cable car makes its way down a hill on March 3, 2005.