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Ten Times Mike Pence Worked to Defeat the LGBT Community

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From conversion therapy to HIV to DADT to marriage, Donald Trump’s likely running mate Mike Pence has long opposed LGBT equality.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who endorsed Donald Trump for President one week after he endorsed Senator Ted Cruz, is expected to be named as Trump’s vice presidential running mate Friday.

Donald Trump, who told the New York Post that rather than asking himself if his vice presidential choice would make a good President that “the most important thing is chemistry,” is expected to make his announcement tomorrow at 11 AM EDT in Manhattan.

The chemistry in question may be found in an anti-LGBT agenda, as evidenced by Trump’s own stance and the GOP’s 2016 platform, described as the most anti-LGBT platform in history.

One needn’t look further than these ten examples of Pence’s record on the LGBT community for evidence:

1. His 2000 congressional campaign platform favored conversion therapy rather than “needy” HIV treatment.

He proposed that Congress should audit their federal spending to ensure that “federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus,” his website read.  “Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

2. That same platform cautioned that LGBT military personnel weakened the military.

“Homosexuality is incompatible with military service because the presence of homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion,” his platform read.

An archived version of the website is still available here.

3. He labeled the potential repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as “a backdrop for social experimentation.”

Pence told CNN, “I don’t believe the time has come to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I really believe our soldiers that are at the tip of the spear know that. We ought to put their interests and the interests of our national security first.”

4. He voted against same-sex marriage and against prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination while in the House.

As a GOP Congressman, Pence voted in favor of legislation defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, and against legislation prohibiting workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. He was quoted by The Atlantic as saying that prohibiting workplace discrimination “wages war on freedom of religion in the workplace.”

5. Pence supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Even after the section of DOMA barring legally married same-sex couples from having their marriages recognized by the federal government was ruled unconstitutional, Pence said, “I believe marriage is the union between a man and a woman and is a unique institution worth defending in our state and nation. For thousands of years, marriage has served as the glue that holds families and societies together.”

6. He subsequently supported HJR-6, an amendment to Indiana’s constitution banning same-sex marriage.

Pence’s spokeswoman said that Pence “supported the effort to ‘defend Indiana’s right to define the institution of marriage for the residents of our state.’” Same-sex marriage was already prohibited in a state statute at the time. He also supported Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s effort to appeal the ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Indiana.

7. He signed an open letter drafted by the Family Research Council that ran in Politico and the Washington Examiner that supported organizations opposed to same-sex marriage.

“We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity… [with] pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family,” the letter read. “We support the vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans.”

8. Pence was “disappointed” by the Supreme Court’s decision on nationwide marriage equality.

“Like many Hoosiers,” he said, “I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court failed to recognize the historic role of the states in setting marriage policy in this country.”

9. He opposed guidance from the Department of Education regarding transgender students.

“The federal government has no business getting involved in issues of this nature,” he said.

But perhaps most notoriously…

10. In 2015, Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law, giving businesses a “license to discriminate” against the LGBT community.

When asked if businesses should be able to discriminate against the LGBT community, Pence did have little to say:

The RFRA impacted more than the LGBT community, as the IndyStar reported that the bill “cost the city of Indianapolis as many as 12 conventions and up to $60 million in economic impact.”

The announcement will come on the same day that Governor Mike Pence, up for re-election and holding a 40% approval rating, must withdrawal from the gubernatorial race under Indiana law if selected. LGBT and progressive organizations have already begun to issue statements denouncing Pence as Trump’s running mate.

  

EARLIER:

LGBT and Progressive Orgs Issue Statements Protesting Pence as VP Pick

Breaking: Mike Pence Will Be Donald Trump’s Pick for VP: Reports

Trump’s Vice President Expected to Be Mike Pence or Newt Gingrich – Will He Throw GOP a Curve Ball?

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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LOL

Trump Unveils New Oddly Familiar Space Force Logo – and Star Trek’s George Takei Jokes He’s ‘Expecting Some Royalties’

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President Donald Trump unveiled his new Space Force logo Friday afternoon, and many immediately noticed a strong similarity to the Star Trek logo. Even the original “Star Trek” series’ actor George Takei had a lot of fun at Trump’s expense – including demanding some royalties.

Many others had a good time as well:

Conservative national security commentator and analyst John Noonan weighed in enough to ruin some of the fun:

 

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OPINION

Tulsi Gabbard’s $50 Million Lawsuit Against Hillary Clinton Exposes Exactly Why She Is Not the Leader America Needs

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U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a lower-tier presidential candidate with high aspirations, announced she is suing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for $50 million after the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee said Russia is grooming “somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary” for a third-party run, and reportedly called that person, “a favorite of the Russians” and “totally” a “Russian asset.” It does not appear Clinton ever named Gabbard directly.

“They’re also going to do third-party. I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton had said.

A Clinton spokesperson later did not deny the former Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator was referring to Gabbard.

Gabbard’s explanation for why she is suing Clinton exposes exactly why she is unfit to be president.

“This is my life that we’re talking about here,” The Hill reported Gabbard said on Fox News Thursday night to Tucker Carlson – three months after Clinton’s remarks. “When you have someone as powerful as Hillary Clinton seeking to smear my reputation and essentially implying that I’m a traitor to the country that I love, what she essentially is doing is taking my life away.”

We know that President Donald Trump would take to Twitter to attack anyone who made disparaging remarks against him, even private citizens, but most politicians would turn the other cheek and ignore the insult. Why dignify it with a response – much less a lawsuit?

What would Congresswoman Gabbard do if a Hillary Clinton, or a Vladimir Putin, or an Emmanuel Macron, or the head of the Republican Party, made similar comments about a President Gabbard? Would the nation have to witness and live through yet another thin-skinned president railing against being called a name, and turning to the courts for support? Haven’t Americans had enough of that already?

Gabbard’s thin-skin not only did not allow her to move on, she felt it appropriate to draw the U.S. Armed Forces into the controversy.

“For me as a soldier, as every service member does, I took an oath of loyalty to our country — the country that I love, willing to put my life on the line for our country — deploying twice to the Middle East to do so,” Gabbard added. She took a similar oath when she became a U.S. Congresswoman, but she had to drag our entire military into her battle.

Gabbard also told NBC News that her lawsuit “should have been for $50 billion.”

“What is your life worth to you? What is your honor and loyalty, your identity worth to you?” Gabbard asked a reporter. “What she has done has very directly attacked who I am as a person.”

Again, this happens to politicians – and certainly presidents – daily.

In fact, after Clinton’s remarks became public, Gabbard attacked Clinton, calling her “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”

Clinton did not sue Gabbard.

No one likes to be smeared, whether or not the allegations are true. When you’re a prominent elected official, it comes with the job. Turning the other cheek, moving on, and being the bigger person is the sign of a good leader, a strong leader, a leader who shows good judgment and has the perspective to focus on what’s really important to those she or he is serving. Gabbard has exposed she is not that leader.

RELATED STORIES:

New Poll Shows Which Candidates Would Make Democratic Primary Voters Most – and Least – ‘Disappointed’ if They Won

‘Malevolent Kraken’: Tulsi Gabbard Mocked After Attacking Hillary Clinton Over Claim Russia Is Grooming a Woman Democrat

‘This Is a Real Warning’: Ex-Campaign Aide Bluntly States Clinton Didn’t Go Far Enough Criticizing Tulsi Gabbard

 

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COVERUP

Pentagon Triples Number of US Troops With Traumatic Brain Injury After Iran Attack – Trump Said They Were Just ‘Headaches’

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The Pentagon has just announced 34 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries as a result of Iran’s missile attacks on U.S. Forces at Iraqi bases where they were hosted earlier this month. That’s more than three times the number of service members initially reported, eleven, and an upgrade from “possible” traumatic brain injuries.

President Donald Trump, hours after the missiles hit two U.S. bases declared “All is well!” and insisted there had been no injuries to American forces. He later dismissed the injuries as “not very serious” and “headaches, and a couple of other things.”

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can lead to severe permanent brain damage and can be fatal.

On Wednesday the Commander-in-Chief was asked about the eleven U.S. service members who had been diagnosed with possible traumatic brain injuries as a result of Iran’s attack on U.S. Forces at Iraqi bases where they were hosted. Trump told a reporter they were just “headaches,” and became defensive quickly (video below.)

“I heard that they had headaches, and a couple of other things but I would say, and I can report, it is not very serious.”

“You don’t think that a  potential traumatic brain injury is very serious?” the reporter asked.

“Um, they told me about it numerous days later – you’d have to ask the Dept. of Defense,” Trump replied. “No, I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen.”

That reporter was CBS News White House Correspondent Weijia Jiang. She later noted that “Trump has said many times that no Americans were hurt when Iran retaliated for the Soleimani strike, and that was a big reason he declared victory.”

That reason has been shredded, and Trump has made no effort to correct his remarks, and shown no concern for the now 34 service members.

Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance weighed in, saying, “34 with TBI, in a crisis that looked like it was manufactured by Trump to distract from impeachment.”

“Pentagon officials have said there had been no effort to minimize or delay information on concussive injuries,” Reuters reports, “but its handling of the injuries following Tehran’s attack has renewed questions over the U.S. military’s policy regarding how it deals with suspected brain injuries.”

Here’s Trump dismissing TBIs as mere “headaches” earlier this week:

 

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