So Donald Trump picked Mike Pence as his running mate. And on the surface, Mike may look like a comparatively stable, moderate guy, especially next to Trump.
But under the surface, Mike’s actually far more diabolical than your usual Republican. In fact, even though he looks like a boring model from a Lands End catalogue, he’s actually way more extreme than even Donald Trump. And that’s a big problem, because Trump may be one of the most impeachment-ready candidates ever.
So what’s so bad about Mike Pence? Well, you might not’ve heard about this, but let’s start HR 2410 back in 2009. That bill would have, among other things, encouraged foreign governments to repeal laws criminalizing homosexuality. There are a lot of countries that round up gay people, sometimes for harassment, sometimes for jail, and sometimes for execution. HR 2410 would have had the State Department encourage them to stop doing that. Mike Pence was opposed, calling the bill “a set of values that are at odds with the majority of the American people.” So apparently he thinks the majority of Americans want gays rounded up and thrown in jail and possibly killed. And even if that was true — wouldn’t we want leaders who stand up to that sentiment, who understand that majority rule isn’t how we do civil rights for minority groups?
Then there was the time he ran for Congress, and wanted the government to defund HIV programs and use the money instead for ex-gay conversion camps. I did a whole video about why ex-gay treatments are a dangerous sham. And just recently an investigation into pray-away-the-gay practices in America was launched by the United Nations Committee Against Torture. So, just to be clear: Committee Against Torture: opposed to dangerous conversion experiments. Mike Pence: in favor.
Mike eventually did defund some HIV programs, in the form of needle exchanges and STD testing. And guess what? Infection rates spiked. Great job.
Mike also opposed expanding the definition of a hate crime, saying that preventing attacks on gay people would have a “chilling effect on religious expression.” This was after a student named Rito Osorio was beaten in a school bathroom while his attackers screamed anti-gay epithets — yeah, we wouldn’t want to chill that expression.
Like many Republicans, Mike opposed the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell — he said that “homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion.” And he was really opposed to marriage equality, or as he called it, “societal collapse.” Mike also gave a speech where he said that kids of gay parents are more likely to use drugs, get arrested, and drop out of school. For that claim, he cited known family expert Dan Quayle. He also wanted to ban civil unions. And at one point he wrote that marriage should be preserved as it’s been for thousands of years. So I guess that would include buying and selling women as slaves. Cool.
That’s all bad enough, but his anti-gay resume goes much further. Remember last year, when everyone freaked out about Indiana’s turn-away-the-gays bill? That basically let anyone refuse service to same-sex couples on the basis of religion. And he signed it into law in a closed ceremony, surrounded by some of the most radical anti-gay activists in the state.
Activists like Micah Clark, who said that anyone who let gays join the Boy Scouts was exposing kids to abuse, and should be drowned in the ocean. Micah also said that girls wearing tuxedos to prom are making a “destructive … sexual statement,” and that LGBT youth centers recruit gays and are as dangerous as smoking.
He was also flanked by Eric Miller, who said that hate crimes laws protect “homosexuals and pedophiles.” And Curt Smith, who said that Matthew Shepard’s murder is evidence that gay marriage causes drug-related violence. I don’t even know.
Eventually, Mike was forced to overturn most of the law’s provisions, but not until after it cost his state $250 million in boycotts. So, hope it was worth it.
And that’s Mike Pence. He’d be one step away from the presidency, under a president who’s already suggested he’d like to violate the constitution, who said he rejects international law, who’s implicated in an ongoing tax fraud case. Who said that if elected, he might simply not want to be president anymore. And if, God forbid, President Trump went away, who would that leave in charge? This guy, who’s been making Indiana suffer for the last decade and a half.
Whether it was with bill that’s cost his state hundreds of millions of lost business, with cronies who want gays drowned in the ocean, with unpunished hate crimes, or with defunded HIV programs — I bet you never thought you’d be longing for the rational policies of a sensible VP like Sarah Palin.
But now here we are, with all of those policies just one Trump away from running the entire country.
Remember when Trump told everyone to “ask the gays” if he was our friend? Would’ve been nice if he asked us about this guy.