1. Hours after plunging into the Republican presidential primary, Texas Gov. Rick Perry made his first big flip-flop. The Texas Tribune reports that Perry is backtracking from one of the few socially progressive moves he’s made as governor — an executive order in 2007 mandating the HPV vaccine for girls entering sixth grade. Until now, Perry has consistently defended the controversial executive order, which was overturned by the Legislature. But now that he’s running for president, his position has changed. “I signed an executive order that allowed for an opt-out, but the fact of the matter is that I didn’t do my research well enough to understand that we needed to have a substantial conversation with our citizenry,” Perry told a gathering in New Hampshire on Saturday. “But here’s what I learned: When you get too far out in front of the parade, they will let you know, and that’s exactly what our Legislature did, and I saluted it and I said, ‘Roger that, I hear you loud and clear.’ And they didn’t want to do it and we don’t, so enough said.”
2. Perry’s chief rival for tea party and evangelical support, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, told CNN on Sunday that she would reinstate “don’t ask don’t tell.” But Bachmann mostly dodged questions about her virulently anti-gay record during NBC’s Meet the Press, declaring that, “I don’t judge [gays].” Watch the clip from Meet the Press below.
3. Indiana State Rep. Phillip Hinkle, the anti-gay Republican accused of hiring an 18-year-old male prostitute on Craigslist, faces growing pressure to resign.