Ten Times Mike Pence Worked to Defeat the LGBT Community

 
 
 

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An archived version of the website is still available here.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:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0-9vsSi9RkY

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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