The Morning Pride: August 9, 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 too.

– Equality Matters’ Carlos Maza reports that despite the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling declaring sodomy laws unconstitutional, 18 states still criminalize consensual same-sex relationships, and many of those laws are still enforced.

– Equality Matters also points out that Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council — a hate group — continues to be welcomed onto cable news programs. In addition to MSNBC and Fox News appearances over the weekend, he was also on CNN just this morning to discuss the influence of the religious right.

– Blogger Alvin McEwen has set up a petition calling upon Congress to scrutinize fraudulent anti-gay testimony, like that from Focus on the Family’s Tom Minnery and the National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher.

– The White House was not prepared on Monday to say whether or not federally-funded HIV/AIDS initiatives might be at risk for cuts under the debt agreement.

– Apparently, Maryland’s Catholic Archbishop, Edwin F. O’Brien, tried to talk Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) out of supporting marriage equality, as it would “deeply conflict” with the governor’s own Catholic faith.

– Contrary to anti-gay talking points, states with marriage equality tend to be those with the lowest divorce rates while states in the Bible belt tend to have some of the highest divorce rates.

– As anti-gay sentiments snowball in Ghana, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana is planning to establish therapy centers to “counsel and rehabilitate” homosexuals as a preventative measure, because homosexuality is “spreading fast.”

– Taiwan is preparing for its biggest same-sex mass wedding — about 60 lesbian couples will tie the knot later this month, even though the country does not recognize those marriages.

Australian finance minister Penny Wong and her partner Sophie Allouache are expecting a child, which could have implications for the country’s upcoming debate on marriage equality.

– Comedian Tim Allen is already playing defense about his new ABC sitcom because of a joke that a certain preschool might cause his character’s grandson to end up “dancing on a parade float.”

– Marquette University, a Jesuit-run school, is under fire from conservatives for putting its InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter on probation after it dismissed one of its officers for coming out and admitting he had a boyfriend. The school was enforcing its nondiscrimination policy, which includes sexual orientation.

– The National Organization for Marriage’s candidate pledge — which has been signed by Bachmann, Santorum, Romney, and Pawlenty — requires signatories to investigate harassment against opponents of LGBT equality, as portrayed in this cartoon: