Friday News Roundup

– New Hampshire is set to become the sixth state to enact marriage equality. Governor says he’ll sign a bill with extra religious protections:

Gov. John Lynch said Thursday he will sign a bill to make his state the sixth to legalize gay marriage as soon as the Legislature makes some changes, which legislative leaders immediately said they would back.

Lynch asked that the already-approved legislation be revised to better protect churches and their employees against lawsuits if their beliefs preclude them from marrying gays. Gay marriage supporters said they do not object.

It’s a ridiculous provision, but if it makes the religious right feel better, I’m all for it.

– President Obama has said he’s a “fierce supporter” of LGBT rights. So far, I haven’t seen much ferocity – and neither has Andrew Sullivan:

Here we are, in the summer of 2009, with gay servicemembers still being fired for the fact of their orientation. Here we are, with marriage rights spreading through the country and world and a president who cannot bring himself even to acknowledge these breakthroughs in civil rights, and having no plan in any distant future to do anything about it at a federal level. Here I am, facing a looming deadline to be forced to leave my American husband for good, and relocate abroad because the HIV travel and immigration ban remains in force and I have slowly run out of options (unlike most non-Americans with HIV who have no options at all).

And what is Obama doing about any of these things? What is he even intending at some point to do about these things? So far as I can read the administration, the answer is: nada.

And the excuses are maddening: We have to fix the economy first! Hello! Ever hear of multi-tasking Mr. President. It’s not all that tough to toss this issue into the mix.

– South Carolina is working to pass law on teen dating violence – but leaves out gay kids on purpose. Apparently straight kids beat the hell out of each other more than gay kids.

– Religious right says the notion of a “gay gene” has been dealt a “knockout punch” by new APA brochure. The problem? The brochure came out in 2008 and does nothing of the sort. File under: “quotes seeking a story.”

– How about a black woman judge on the US Supreme Court? Not so fast, say some gay rights folks:

Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, considered a potential nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, has drawn criticism from gay rights groups after announcing plans to join a think tank whose founder is an outspoken opponent of gay marriage.

Sears, the nation’s first black female chief justice of a state supreme court, announced this week she will join the New York-based Institute for American Values when she retires June 30…

In announcing her future plans, Sears said her role at the institute would build on her work with the Georgia Supreme Court toward “strengthening the institution of marriage” by working to reduce the nation’s divorce rate.

Gay rights advocates, who enthusiastically supported Sears’ re-election bid against a conservative in 2004, said they felt betrayed that she will be working part-time for the New York-based think tank.

Here’s hoping it’s all a moot point …

Have a great weekend!