Pence positions on LGBT rights and other social issues

GOP Vice President pick Gov. Mike Pence has a long record of conservative positions. AP Photo, Andrew Kudacki.

by Rob Howard
Political Correspondent 

Now that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has been announced as Donald Trump’s running-mate, it is important that LGBT voters, and more progressive and liberal voters, know where he stands on civil rights and social issues.

According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Pence’s most notable national issue was his “’License to Discriminate’ bill that would have allowed businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people -- and for subsequently defending the bill over an outcry from the business community and a majority of Hoosier voters.”

Both Trump and Pence are anti-marriage equality, oppose extending non-discrimination protections to the LGBTQ community and oppose federal guidance protecting transgender people.

Here is more information on Pence’s LGBT issue stances from HRC:

On marriage equality

Pence opposed the Supreme Court’s nationwide marriage equality ruling, saying, “Like many Hoosiers, I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman…” Prior to that, he supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and after section 3 of DOMA, which barred legally married same-sex couple from having their marriages recognized by the federal government, was ruled unconstitutional, he urged amending the state of Indiana’s constitution to outlaw marriage equality.

In addition, he voted three times for a federal Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage during his tenure in Congress.

Trump has vowed to roll back nationwide marriage equality by appointing justices to the Supreme Court who would reverse nationwide marriage equality. 

On non-discrimination protections

While in Congress, Pence voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” by saying it would turn the military into “a backdrop for social experimentation." He voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, calling it a “radical social agenda.” As governor, his “right to discriminate” bill could have allowed businesses to discriminate and deny service to LGBTQ people because of who they are or whom they love.

On transgender equality

Pence is opposed to guidance from the Department of Education that clarifies that transgender students have a right under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to access restrooms consistent with their gender identity, saying, “The federal government has no business getting involved in issues of this nature.”

On other issues, Pence is uniformly staunchly conservative. Here are some of his positions, from

He has a record of voting in Congress against any bill that would expand abortion rights, and for bills that would restrict a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. He got a zero rating from NARAL, a national pro-choice organization for his voting record. NARAL slammed Trump for naming “Mr. Defund Planned Parenthood” Mike Pence as his VP choice.

On issues related to families and children, he received a 100 percent rating from the Christian Coalition for his “pro-family values” voting record.

Social conservatives will be happy that Gov. Mike Pence is Trump’s VP choice. His choice may mean for support from them but LGBT, progressives and liberal voters are more likely to view it as a doubling down on Trump’s conservative stances on issues important to those voters.

The Gayly – July 15, 2016 @ 2:15 p.m.