With Donald Trump all set to announce Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his running mate for the November Presidential election, we decided to have a look at, potentially, the next Vice-President of America. I can tell you now that we did not like what we saw!
Firstly, Pence is massively anti-LGBT! In 2015, Pence signed the ‘Religious Freedom’ bill, the language in which allowed Indiana businesses the right to refuse service, and discriminate against, LGBT Americans. A bill which allowed members of the LGBT society to be treated in a similar fashion to how African-Americans were treated in the same Southern businesses. This bill led to a huge national backlash, leading to calls to boycott the state by Star Trek actor George Takei, and Indiana’s biggest newspaper, The Indianapolis Star, to run a full-page headline on the front page against it!
Mike Pence, also opposed the repeal of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’. pence claimed that “Homosexuality is incompatible with military service because the presence of homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion.”
During his campaign in 2000 Pence said on his website “congress should oppose any effort to recognise homosexual’s as a ‘discreet and insular minority’ entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities.” In these words, or similar, Pence has throughout his career consistently opposed any legislation which would protect the LGBT community from discrimination in the workplace and society in general.
in 2014, Pence attempted to block U.S. District Judge Richard Young’s ruling that Indiana’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. Pence also supported an amendment to Indiana’s constitution which would have banned same-sex marriages and civil unions, however the amendment failed as it was too extreme and hateful!
Pence opposed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, in 2009, suggesting that President Obama just wanted to “advance a radical social agenda!” Pence went further as he put up strong opposition to efforts to expand the definition of hate crimes to include a victim’s sexual orientation.
Away from the LGBT society in America, Pence has also turned on those seeking abortions. In 2007, Pence began going after the funding of pro-choice organisation’s government funding as he attempted to completely defund Planned Parenthood. Then in 2016, Pence signed in one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. The bill forbids abortions on any basis of fetal chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome amongst others. The law goes further in banning fetal-tissue donations, requiring any aborted or miscarried fetus to be cremated or buried as a human life. The bill places restrictions on abortions similar to restrictions found in other bills which have themselves been found unconstitutional by other states.
Pence also tried to ban Syrian refugees from entering the country. In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, Pence issued an executive order as Governor to block the resettlement of Syrian war refugees in Indiana. To follow on from his executive order, Pence attempted to cut off federal aid to refugees in the state already. It took a federal judge to block Pence’s actions, which the Judge deemed that the governors’ actions “clearly constitutes national origin discrimination” highlighting the clear xenophobic origin of these actions.
Pence, also signed a bill which reinstated a mandatory minimum on drug sentencing. For those of you keeping up to date with the Democratic race will know that mandatory minimums have come up numerous times in the campaign as a disaster to the American justice system. One which has led to the hyper-inflated level of incarceration America is living through.
To round off Mike Pence as the superb running mate candidate he is, only sixteen years ago he was still arguing that “smoking doesn’t kill” despite years of scientists already telling the world the complete opposite. Pence also backed Ted Cruz in the primaries, although only after immense pressure from fellow conservatives to back Cruz. The cherry on top of all this is that he is, or was, tipped to lose his Governorship in the up coming election to Democrat John Gregg, who in 2012 he only beat by 3 points despite Obama losing the state by 10 points.
Featured Image credit to Gage Skidmore.