Mike Pence is the Worst Vice President for LGBTQ People In Modern History

by HRC staff

Post submitted by Lucas Acosta (he/him), former Deputy Director of Communications, Politics

Throughout his long career as an elected official, Mike Pence has sought to dehumanize and demean LGBTQ people at every opportunity. From his years in Congress to his time as Governor and his current role facilitating many of Trump's anti-LGBTQ actions, Mike Pence has been a willing and eager participant in the campaign against LGBTQ equality. Here's his record:

Pence attempted to license discrimination against LGBTQ people by signing into law a religious exemption designed to create swiss cheese out of nondiscrimination laws.

This move cost the state:

$60 million in lost business from 12 conventions

$365k of taxpayer money spent on a PR firm to help dampen the backlash and attempt to restore the reputation of Indiana

...and the respect of millions

In 2007, Pence stoked far-right fear of LGBTQ non-discrimination protections by lying about ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act):

"Under ENDA, employees around the country who possess religious beliefs that are opposed to homosexual behavior would be forced, in effect, to lay down their rights and convictions at the door. For example, if an employee keeps a Bible in his or her cubicle, if an employee displays a Bible verse on their desk, that employee could be claimed by a homosexual colleague to be creating a hostile work environment because the homosexual employee objects to passages in the Bible relating to homosexuality."

Meanwhile, Pence blocked hate crimes prevention legislation in Congress numerous times, explicitly because it criminalized violent attacks on LGBTQ people:

Pence opposed federal hate crimes prevention laws because it would make a federal offense "out of any violent crime that is alleged to be motivated by gender identity including, for instance, people who describe themselves as transsexuals."

In 2009, Pence falsely claimed there was no "evidence of any hate crimes occurring against individuals for gender identity." This statement was made the year after the high profile murder of Angie Zapata who was killed for being transgender.

In 2020, HRC has already tracked at least 26 deaths of transgender people in the United States due to fatal violence making this year on track to be the highest number ever recorded.

For comparison, there were 27 deaths during the entirety of 2019.

Despite leading Trump's efforts to eliminate HIV transmissions, Pence as governor failed to combat and arguably exacerbated the HIV crisis in Indiana:

Politico: "How Pence's slow walk on needle exchange helped propel Indiana's health crisis"

Pence in 2002
: "condoms are a very, very poor protection against sexually transmitted diseases"

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