It's a new year and a new day, as they would say. So happy new year, but keep those fingers crossed.

We're going to need a little luck and lots of determination if we are to get past our political setbacks of yesteryear. First up is the question: Is our Election Day silver lining abandoning us?

It's hard to say, but social conservatives have been singing the praises of President-elect Barack Obama's choice of Rev. Rick Warren to give the nation's prayer at his inauguration. That does not bode well for our side, which has been busy pointing out the inconsistencies of choosing the Saddleback megachurch leader who likened gay marriage to polygamy and supported California's gay marriage ban.

This week, more conservatives who have denounced gay unions – several called grassroots protests against California's gay marriage ban “mob intimidation” – joined the chorus of praise for Obama. Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins and William Kristol join Rick Warren, Pat Robertson, Douglas Kmiec and Richard Cizik in their endorsement.

The praise from the right appears to have overpowered our outrage, possibly giving Obama a political gain – watch out for that bus!

The new year brings a new high-profile gay mayor. On January 1, Sam Adams became the first openly gay mayor to run one of the 30 largest cities in the United States. He has been Mayor-elect since he won a majority vote (59%) over several opponents in a mail-only May primary.

Adams, a Democrat, was endorsed in his bid by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group committed to increasing the number of openly GLBT elected officials at all levels of government.

And a new gay marriage bill was introduced in New Hampshire this week. New Hampshire Representative Jim Splaine's (Democrat) new bill amends the current civil unions law to marriage.

Splaine, who is openly gay, is the sponsor of the New Hampshire civil unions bill that passed in 2007.

But opponents of gay marriage in New Hampshire have also announced plans to limit the influence of legal gay marriages performed in states such as nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut.

State Rep. David Hess (Republican) says he will introduce legislation that would repeal the part of the civil unions bill that recognizes legal gay marriages performed elsewhere. (Recognized as civil unions by the state.)

“Civil unions are not marriage, but a legal concept generated in several states,” Hess said. “Same-sex marriage is contrary to Christian traditions and every religious concept of marriage between a man and a woman.”

“Same-sex marriage is an oxymoron, because one of the primary functions of marriage is procreating,” he added.

A similar argument is brewing in Cleveland, where a newly-passed gay partner registry is facing possible repeal.

United Pastors in Mission, a group of mostly black ministers led by president Rev. C. Jay Matthews of the Mount Sinai Baptist Church and director Rev. Marvin McMickle of Antioch Baptist Church, announced on Tuesday they would fight the measure.

Cleveland's domestic partner registry allows gay and straight couples to seek recognition of their union from the city. Ohio passed one of the toughest gay marriage bans in the country four years ago. To ensure that the registry does not run afoul of the state's prohibition it lacks any force of law and guarantees no protections whatsoever. Any benefits given to couples would be strictly voluntary.

Over 70 cities and counties nationwide offer gay domestic partner registries. Lawmakers in the Mormon stronghold of Utah will take up the question next month.

Despite its limited use, the ministers vowed to fight against it, calling its passage by city leaders an attempt to circumvent the state's gay marriage ban.

“That lifestyle goes against God,” Matthews told a Plain Dealer reporter.

It may be a different year, but haven't we heard this chorus before?

And it was our own Gay Entertainment Report that brought me news of documentaries that explore the real-life consequences of homophobia being screened at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The Gay Slant is a weekly feature of On Top Magazine. Walter Weeks is a writer for On Top and can be reached at