Mike Pence’s wife attacked a newspaper for ‘promoting homosexuality’
Vice President Mike Pence’s wife once complained that a newspaper was “promoting homosexuality” by including the number of an LGBT helpline.
The revelations come from a Washington Post profile of the Vice President’s wife Karen Pence, who has largely stayed out of the spotlight despite her role as America’s Second Lady.
The piece alleges that Ms Pence is the “driving force” of her husband’s famously extreme anti-LGBT views.
Anti-LGBT activist Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council, a Trump official and associate of the Pences, told the Post: “You can’t get a dime between them [on the issues]… it is not him seeking her approval, but his doing a sort of gut check with what they have learned together and come up through together in terms of their shared Christianity.”
The Post also revealed that Ms Pence wrote a letter to the editor of the Indianapolis Star, complaining that a feature had included a phone number of an LGBT support line.
Ms Pence penned the letter in 1991 while working as an elementary school teacher.
In the letter, which the newspaper published, Ms Pence claims that the coverage “encourages children to think they’re gay or lesbian if they have a close relationship with a child of the same sex”.
She added: “I only pray that most parents were able to intercept your article before their children were encouraged to call the Gay/Lesbian Youth Hotline, which encourages them to ‘accept their homosexuality’ instead of reassuring them that they are not”.
She had been married to her husband for six years at the time.
A separate investigation previously revealed that Pence approved extreme anti-LGBT articles when he was the head of the Indiana Policy Review journal in the 1990s, shortly after his wife’s letter to the Star.
In an item published in December 1993, Pence’s journal criticised The Wall Street Journal for taking part in a job fair for gay journalists – suggesting that “gaydom” was a “pathological condition”, and arguing that gay journalists would be biased in their coverage because of their sexuality.
It claimed: “The more extreme of the gay movement consider themselves members of a sexual determined political party.”
Another edition published in 1993 attacked Bill Clinton for reforms to permit closeted gay people to serve in the army.
It claimed: “Homosexuals are not as a group able bodied. They are known to carry extremely high rates of disease brought on because of the nature of their sexual practices and the promiscuity which is a hallmark of their lifestyle.”
A hardline evangelical who has not supported a single LGBT reform across nearly two decades in politics, VP Pence has one of the worst records on equality of any President or Vice President in recent memory.
The Governor of Indiana stirred up international outrage in 2015 when he signed Indiana’s controversial ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’, giving businesses the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion.
Pence claimed the law was intended to “protect” organisations from having to provide services for same-sex weddings, saying: “I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier [Indiana citizen] of every faith.
“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack.”
Last year appeared unable to answer when asked whether it should be legal to fire people because of their sexuality.
In a clip, Pence was asked: “Yes or no: do you believe gay and transgender people should be able to be fired from their jobs just for that reason only?”
After an awkward ten-second silence, Pence attempted to stall, responding: “It’s a great privilege to be your Governor.”
Fudging a response, he said: “My position as I expressed in the state of the State address is that we are a state with a constitution, and as you know… that constitution has very strong safeguards for freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.”
Just a few months ago Pence confirmed plans to roll back Barack Obama’s executive protections on LGBT rights, so that “the transgender bathroom issue can be resolved with common sense at the local level”.
He said: “This is such an example of an administration that seems to have… there’s no area of our lives too small for them to want to regulate, no aspect of our constitution too large for them to ignore.
“Donald Trump and I both believe these questions can be resolved with common sense at the local level.”
“These issues are resolved in the state of Indiana whenever they come up, and they should be resolved, for the safety and well-being of our children first and foremost, their privacy and rights, and with common sense. Donald Trump and I simply believe all of these issues are best resolved at the state level, by communities.”
He added: “Washington has no business intruding on the operation of our local schools. It’s just one more example of the heavy hand of this administration, and Donald Trump and I will stand by that common-sense people that when it comes to our kids, and the operation of our schools, those decisions should be made at the local level.
“Washington DC has no business imposing its bill and its values on communities around the nation.”
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Governor Pence previously suggested that HIV prevention funding be drained in order to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy.
On a 2000 Congressional campaign website, he wrote: “Congress should support the reauthorization of the [HIV funding] Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organisations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviours that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behaviour.”
Decades of proof have not stopped Pence from attempting to rewrite his deeply anti-LGBT record, however.