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Rick Perry drops out of GOP presidential race

Texas Governor Rick Perry

The field of GOP presidential hopefuls became a little less crowded today as Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced that he would cease his campaign to become his party's nominee for the 2012 election.

Perry joins Atlanta businessman Herman Cain, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former Ambassador Jon Huntsman as GOP candidates to drop out of the race.

Perry finished the Iowa caucuses fifth and received less than one percent of the total vote cast in New Hampshire to claim sixth.

Perry made waves when he first entered the campaign, but a series of missteps, including a particularly embarrassing moment during a Nov. 9 debate where he could only remember two of the three federal agencies he proposed to eliminate, derailed his campaign before the first ballot was cast.

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Herman Cain: ‘Homosexuality is a choice’

herman cain

GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain appeared on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight last night talking up his presidential run. In an already up-and-down primary season, Cain has made his way into the top tier of GOP candidates in recent weeks, according to recent national polls.

Host Morgan asked Cain his stance on LGBT issues among a wide array of topics:

“I happen to think that it is a choice,” Cain stated. “You show me evidence, other than opinion, and you might cause me to reconsider that.”

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GOP candidates debate and gay voters lose

Republican debate on CNN

Last night, the Republican contenders seeking the nomination for the presidency of the United States participated in the second GOP debate of the 2012 election cycle. Held in New Hampshire, the debate was broadcast on CNN and was sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Seven Republicans attended and answered a wide range of questions on topics from the economy and jobs to foreign policy and social issues. CNN's John King moderated.

Several LGBT issues were covered during the debate, including the upcoming repeal of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy and whether or not the candidates supported a federal constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

Most candidates said that they would leave the decision to restate the policy to the military commanders, but Minn. Rep. Michele Bachmann said that if elected, she would keep  “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in place.

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Outspoken: Herman Cain, Reese Witherspoon and more…

Boston Red Sox make 'It Gets Better' video

‘Lady Gaga is an active promoter of the LGTB community; a community we foster. As previously underscored by [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton, gay and human rights are one and the same. I am proud that an Italian-American artist is coming to Rome. We look to the event with interest.”

David Thorne, U.S. Ambassador to Rome, on news that Lady Gaga will perform June 11 at EuroPride, the continent’s largest LGBT pride event. (Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, June 6)

“Some people say you fight fire with fire: no, you fight fire with water, not with fire. We will put out the blind hatreds of sectarianism not with sectarianism of our own but with love and with solidarity.”

— American-Syrian freedom activist Amina Araf, who wrote the blog ‘A Gay Girl in Damascus’ under the name Amina Abdallah, in a post on Sunday, June 5. On Monday, someone claiming to be Araf’s cousin wrote on the blog that she had been kidnapped by armed men in the Syrian capital. (MSNBC, June 7)

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Herman Cain: Sure, I’d hire a gay person to work in the White House (but not a Muslim)

herman cain

GOP presidential candidate and Georgia resident Herman Cain says he would have no problem hiring an openly gay staffer to work for him if elected president. And he said so with the leader of the Iowa anti-gay marriage movement at his side.

The story was reported by Jennifer Jacobs at the Des Moines Register as part of the newspaper's "2012 Iowa Caucuses" special online section.

Cain was in Iowa on June 6 at a speech hosted by the Family Leader, headed up by Bob Vander Plaats. Vander Plaats and the Family Leader were part of a campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges after they voted to legalize gay marriage in the state in 2009. Joining Family Leader was the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage.