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    LGBT and Progressive Orgs Issue Statements Protesting Pence as VP Pick

    Viewed as Attack on LGBT Community

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    LGBT and progressive organizations are issuing statements denouncing the reported pick of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as Donald Trump's vice presidential running mate. While Trump will announce his choice Friday morning, news outlets, including the Indianapolis Star, have to varying degrees reported the choice of Pence has been confirmed by sources within the Trump campaign.

    Victory Fund President & CEO Aisha C. Moodie-Mills:

    “Donald Trump has launched indefensible attacks against women, immigrants, Muslims, and so many others, and today he opened a new offensive against LGBT people with his selection of Mike Pence as his running mate. Governor Pence has made a career out of singling out LGBT people for discrimination: supporting efforts to strip employment protections, deny recognition of our relationships, and prohibit courageous LGBT soldiers from serving openly in the military. Just last year, he signed legislation that gave restaurants, stores and other businesses permission to refuse service to LGBT people, inflicting heavy damage on his state’s economy and its workers.  

    “His nomination is a rallying cry for the LGBT community and our allies across the nation. There can be no more illusions about the Republican presidential ticket’s position on our equality. While we hope never to see a Trump-Pence administration, now more than ever our community must fight to elect LGBT candidates who can be our voice and defeat anti-LGBT legislation that may come our way in the future.”

    Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof:

    “As Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence has given us all a preview of his vision for America -- a future where LGBTQ people everywhere are put at risk for discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.”

    “Donald Trump is considering putting an atrociously anti-LGBTQ Governor like Mike Pence just a heartbeat away from the Presidency. If Trump’s own despicable anti-LGBTQ record wasn’t enough, this reality is a vivid reminder of what disaster a Trump-Pence administration would spell for LGBTQ Americans and our allies.”

    In a statement HRC added:

    Governor Pence became a national disgrace in 2015, for proposing a “license to discriminate” bill that could have allowed businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people -- and subsequently defending the bill over an outcry from the business community and a majority of Hoosier voters. In a now notorious interview with ABC last year, Pence refused to answer eight separate times when asked whether businesses should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

    Pence’s discriminatory bill had enormous consequences for the business and economic health of Indiana -- spoke out against his bill. Indianapolis’s nonprofit tourism agency estimated that in their city alone, Pence’s anti-LGBTQ bill cost up to 12 conventions and $60 millionin lost revenue. Polling conducted by HRC after the 2015 fight found that 75 percent of Hoosiers said the debate was bad for the state’s economy and 70 percent of those surveyed said they opposed to the law.

    Voters in Indiana continue to have strongly negative feelings toward Pence. In a recent poll, only 36 percent said that Pence deserved re-election, and they gave their governor a net negative job disapproval rating. Only 40 percent approved of his job performance and 42 percent disapproved.

    Pence also opposes marriage equality and Department of Education guidelines supporting transgender students. In Congress, he also voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, calling it a “radical social agenda.”  

    Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action:

    “If Trump picks extreme right-wing Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, he will be doubling down on his divisive and hate-filled approach to politics. 

    “Like Trump, Pence has a long record of trying to turn Americans against each other. As governor, Pence has pushed laws making it legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people, tried to keep nonprofits in his state from helping to resettle Syrian refugee families, and signed one of the worst laws in the country taking away women's access to reproductive healthcare. 

    “Instead of uniting people, Pence has intentionally pitted his state's communities against each other -- he's a divider, not a uniter, just like Trump, and that should be scary for all Americans.”

    Planned Parenthood has yet to issue a statement but its political arm, Planned Parenthood Action posted this to Facebook:

     

    NCRM will add to this story as more statements become available.

    This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates. 

     

    Image by Darryl Smith via Flickr and a CC license

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