The Morning Pride: December 21, 2011

Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT’s 8:45 AM round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here’s what we’re reading this morning, but let us know what you’re checking out as well. Follow us all day on Twitter at @TPEquality.

– Bob Vander Plaats apparently called Michele Bachmann to ask her to drop out and join him in supporting Rick Santorum. She declined — she polls higher anyway.

– A Tennessee hospital is under fire for not allowing a patient’s same-sex partner to visit.

– Dan Choi has been barred from the hearing of Bradley Manning.

– The National Center for Lesbian Rights has released a new guide for LGBT elders in California.

– Some heterosexual Illinois couples are getting civil unions in solidarity with same-sex couples.

– Indiana has recognized an Illinois civil union in the settlement for wrongful deaths caused by an Indiana State Fair stage collapse.

– Chris Daugherty (not the 2004 winner of Survivor) may become the first openly gay military chaplain.

– How gay media helped sink the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

– A New Jersey judge has granted custody of 5-year-old twin girls to their same-sex parents, concluding that their mother’s anti-gay attitudes would “have a very damaging effect” on their relationship with their fathers.

– Ireland will officially recognize New York same-sex marriages as Irish civil partnerships.

– A teacher eloquently describes the importance of teaching gender diversity to her 1st-graders and the thoughtful ways she goes about it.

Why are rappers suddenly speaking out more in support of LGBT equality?