Mike Pence and Scott Walker's Politically Toxic, Anti-LGBTQ Agenda is Wrong for Wisconsin

by Ianthe Metzger

MILWAUKEE — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organization, is highlighting the anti-LGBTQ records of Vice President Mike Pence and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who are scheduled to campaign together today in Eau Claire. With deeply disturbing records undermining equality and peddling extremist ideologies, Pence and Walker both have made virulent anti-LGBTQ activism a cornerstone of their political careers, and remain out of touch with a majority of Wisconsin voters, who overwhelmingly support LGBTQ equality.

“Mike Pence and Scott Walker’s extremist, discriminatory agendas pose a threat to Wisconsin and the nation,” said HRC Wisconsin State Director Wendy Strout. “From their opposition to marriage equality to their efforts to license discrimination against LGBTQ people, they do not represent Wisconsin values and our state’s more than 560,000 Equality Voters. With less than 30 days until the crucial midterm elections, HRC is mobilizing its hundreds of thousands of members and supporters in Wisconsin to reject the politics of hate and elect a pro-equality Governor in November.”

Here’s a snapshot of how Pence and Walker have undermined LGBTQ equality:

  • Long history of opposing marriage equality: Walker supported Wisconsin's constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, vetoed a bill to give domestic partner benefits to workers and tried to kill a domestic partner registry. While in Congress, Pence proposed a constitutional amendment that would have imposed a federal ban on marriage in every state.

  • Support banning qualified transgender people from serving in the military: Pence is a lead architect of the effort to ban transgender troops, has rallied anti-equality leaders to support it and, with his staff, lobbied Congress to pass an amendment banning transition-related care for transgender servicemembers. Walker has said he “wouldn’t change” the Trump-Pence  ban on transgender service members.

  • Support a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people: In 2015, Pence’s bigotry received national attention when he signed a bill that could have given businesses, organizations, and individuals a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in employment, housing, education, and health care, as well as in access to services almost anywhere in the public square. Though the effort prompted widespread condemnation from both sides of the political aisle, Walker expressed support for the “principle” of Pence’s attempt to legalize discrimination.

  • Long history of opposing access to affordable health care: During his time in Congress, Pence was a leading voice opposing passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and voted to repeal the ACA —also known as Obamacare— in part or in full, more than 30 times. He also signed one of the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion laws which was later blocked by a federal judge and in 2017, he cast a tie-breaking vote to strip protections for reproductive health care. As governor, Walker rejected Medicaid expansion under Obamacare and also supported repeal of the entire law, which could have stripped health care from millions of Wisconsinites, including the 2.4 million Wisconsin residents with a pre-existing condition.

HRC’s comprehensive “The Real Mike Pence” campaign includes a report, microsite and series of videos that shine a spotlight on Pence’s decades-long crusade against LGBTQ equality, and inside-the-White House efforts leading the Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on LGBTQ people, including those who bravely serve our nation in the military. It lays out his long record of support for the abusive practice of so-called “conversion therapy;” his relentless pursuit of a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people; his attempts to block hate crime legislation and funding for HIV and AIDS prevention; and his efforts to undermine access to health and reproductive care essential to LGBTQ people. He also keeps busy with his extremist agenda by working to undermine science, health, transparency, education, justice and public safety.

In Wisconsin, HRC has identified more than 560,000 million “Equality Voters” -- voters who support LGBTQ-inclusive policies. HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Wisconsin in the 2018 cycle, and has staff and resources on the ground in the state as part of the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community..



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