WASHINGTON -- With speculation growing that Donald Trump might actually choose notoriously anti-LGBTQ Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, the Human Rights Campaign today released a memo revisiting Governor Pence’s disastrous record.
Governor Pence became a national disgrace in 2015, for his “license to discriminate” bill that would have allowed businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people -- and subsequently defending the bill over an outcry from the business community and a majority of Hoosier voters. In a now notorious interview with ABC last year, Pence refused to answer eight separate times when asked whether businesses should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
Pence’s discriminatory bill had enormous consequences for the business and economic health of Indiana after a flood of companies spoke out against his bill. Indianapolis’s nonprofit tourism agency estimated that in their city alone, Pence’s anti-LGBTQ bill cost up to 12 conventions and $60 million in lost revenue. Polling conducted by HRC after the 2015 fight found that 75 percent of Hoosiers said the debate was bad for the state’s economy and 70 percent of those surveyed said they opposed to the law.
Voters in Indiana continue to have strongly negative feelings toward Pence. In a recent poll, only 36 percent said that Pence deserved re-election, and they gave their governor a net negative job disapproval rating. Only 40 percent approved of his job performance and 42 percent disapproved.
Pence also opposes marriage equality and Department of Education guidelines supporting transgender students. When serving in Congress, he voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, calling it a “radical social agenda.”
“As Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence has given us all a preview of his vision for America -- a future where LGBTQ people everywhere are put at risk for discrimination because of who they are or whom they love,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “It’s alarming that Donald Trump is considering putting an atrociously anti-LGBTQ Governor like Mike Pence just a heartbeat away from the Presidency. If Trump’s own despicable anti-LGBTQ record wasn’t enough, this reality is a vivid reminder of what disaster a Trump-Pence administration would spell for LGBTQ Americans and our allies.”
Despite Governor Pence’s disastrous record, speculation has grown about his potential selection as Donald Trump’s Vice Presidential pick. Trump -- whose own disgraceful record of opposing marriage equality and threatening to revoke, repeal, or block LGBTQ equality at nearly every turn aligns closely with Gov. Pence’s worldview -- will campaign alongside him this evening in Indiana.
Below is a snapshot of how Donald Trump and Indiana Governor Mike Pence stack up on LGBTQ issues.
In recent weeks, Donald Trump has reaffirmed his opposition to transgender equality, appeared alongside Tony Perkins -- leader of SPLC-designated hate group the Family Research Council -- and delusionally bragged about fictional support from the LGBTQ community in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. His false claims about his own support are belied by his own long record of opposing LGBTQ equality.
As Donald Trump prepares to campaign alongside Governor Pence in Indiana tonight -- and potentially name Pence his running mate -- here’s a snapshot of where the two align on the issues.
On Marriage Equality
On Non-Discrimination Protections
On Transgender Equality
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality. 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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