This past week, John Abdallah Wambere finally heard the seven words he had been waiting for:

"Your application has been recommended for approval."

Wambere, a prominent Ugandan LGBT-rights activist, had applied for asylum in the United States, due to anti-gay persecution in his home country.

Bucking a long judicial trend, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Louisiana's ban on gay marriage is constitutional.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman acknowledged that his ruling "runs counter to all but two other federal decisions," but he goes on to say that other judges went too far in their opinions.

When actors John Lithgow and Alfred Molina came by NPR's New York studios, they brought with them a loose, joking rapport — the shorthand of longtime friends. "Fred and I had known each other for 15-20 years," says Lithgow — who calls Molina "Fred."

"If anyone says, ... 'I know Alfred really well,' they're lying!" Molina tells NPR's Melissa Block.

"You can call him Freddie Teacups; that's his mob name," Lithgow says with a laugh.

Mercedes Ricks may be the perfect candidate to help launch a new cultural push in Magnolia, Miss. The 50-year-old native of Colombia ended up in this tiny south Mississippi town by way of New Orleans nine years ago.

"I met these ladies from here," Ricks says after greeting guests in the barroom next to her Mariposa restaurant. "They invited me to come spend a weekend in Magnolia. We were going to go to the river and drink beer, and Katrina happened that weekend."

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has revived his fight against same-sex marriage when told a panel of judges at the US 5th Circuit court that marriage should only exist between those who can produce life.  

In his brief submitted to the federal appeals court, Abbott reasons that the law was intended to protect children by promoting traditional marriage between men and women who procreate.

San Antonio attorney Neel Lane, who represents two same-sex couples fighting to have that ban on same-sex marriage removed.