Despite the White House’s recent false claims that Vice President Mike Pence is not anti-gay, a new investigation by CNN proves the conservative Christian Republican politician has a record of anti-gay comments and policies even worse than previously known.
In the early 1990’s Pence not only advocated against a Lafayette, Indiana city council referendum that would have been the first in his home state to grant anti-discrimination protections to gay people, but Pence went even farther than just opposing the proposed ordinance.
Falsely calling homosexuality is a “choice” or a “learned behavior,” Pence – then president of a conservative think tank, Indiana Policy Review Foundation – advocated against allowing gay people to be given any minority status at all.
“Once you identify homosexuals as a minority, then by definition they would need to be afforded constitutional protection,” Pence wrote. “Up to this point, our legal tradition in America has drawn a line over those things. I do not choose whether I am a black American … the great vast majority of the psychological community says homosexuality at a very minimum is a choice by the individual, and at the maximum, is a learned behavior.”
Pence also argued that claiming gay people are worthy of protecting would unlock “a Pandora’s Box of legal rights and legal difficulties.”
CNN notes that in the early 1990’s public opinion was about evenly split on whether gay people should be granted civil rights protections. And the American Psychological Association “said in 1992 that data did not support the view that homosexuality was a choice and studies at the time in the 1990s suggested homosexuality was biological and genetic.”
Pence called granting gay people protections “a very bad move in public policy.”
Later, as a U.S. Congressman, Pence would go on to advocate for harmful conversion therapy and against funding programs to help people with HIV/AIDS.
And as vice president, Pence played a “leading role” in drafting President Trump’s ban on transgender service members.
Meanwhile, as recently as 2016, then-governor Pence questioned whether LGBT protections were “necessary or even possible.”