imageReality contestant Alex speaks out, Senate to open hearings on repealing federal gay marriage ban, Bachmann first to sign anti-gay “pledge,” Brad Pitt stands up for gay marriage, video of boy joining “Toddlers & Tiaras” cast, and more LGBT headlines.

Michele Bachmann jumps to sign anti-gay “pledge.” The Tea Party darling (top photo) was first in line to sign a “vow” from the Family Leader affirming her belief that gay men are a public health risk, that gay parents are inferior to straight parents, and that homosexuality is a choice.

Senate committee to hold hearing on DOMA repeal. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a first-ever hearing on efforts to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act “in the coming weeks.” No date is set for the hearing to entertain the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the existing federal gay marriage ban. That proposal has 25 cosponsors.

image “Glee Project” contestant “not the next Kurt, the first Alex.” In an interview, Alex Newell (second photo) discusses being openly gay on the reality competition for a role on “Glee,” his inspirations, and how singing in his church choir was a strong foundation of his youth. The show returns after a two-week hiatus on July 10.

Gay troops in Iraq and Afghanistan cheer DADT court ruling. “I’m ecstatic,” said one soldier stationed in Baghdad, adding that he planned to meet Thursday at a military coffee shop with other gay soldiers to celebrate. A three-judge panel on Wednesday halted enforcement of the yet-to-be-repealed military’s gay ban.

College of William and Mary elects first gay rector. Jeffrey B. Trammell, an alumnus and prominent figure in the Democratic Party, becomes the school’s first openly gay rector, its highest academic post.

image Brad Pitt voices support for gay marriage. The actor and wife Angelina Jolie (third photo) have yet to tie the knot, but he says all couples in love should have the right to do so, hailing New York’s new marriage law as the “right thing to do.”

New York City mayor to officiate advisor’s gay wedding. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has agreed to do the honors at the nuptials of his chief policy advisor John Feinblatt and partner Jonathan Mintz, the city’s commissioner for consumer affairs.

University of South Florida offers new option for transgender dorm dwellers. The school becomes the first in its state and one of only a handful nationwide that allows students to tick a “transgender” box in addition to “male” and “female” options for roommates.

image Connecticut governor signs transgender protections. Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy signed HB 6599 into law Tuesday, making his state the 15th to protect transgender people from discrimination. The legislation goes into effect Oct. 1.

Boy contestant joins “Toddlers & Tiaras.” On Wednesday, 7-year-old Brock (bottom photo) made his debut on the TLC series about pageant babies — and he’s just as flashy, talented, and outrageous as the other contestants on the show. Check him out in action: