Mike Pence’s ant-LGBTQ bigotry is well-documented, and in many cases, successfully legislated. As Governor of Indiana, he signed “religious freedom” laws, the camouflaged homophobic measures that make it legal for businesses to refuse service to people based on their sexual orientation. Pence has even gone so far as to offer coded support for conversion therapy, a medieval-like practice that seeks to “correct” a person’s behavior to make them heterosexual.
Pence’s team has since denied that he supports such horrible practices, but his website once released a statement on federal funding saying, “Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” Clearly, the institutions in question are ones that seek to change sexual orientation, which can only mean conversion therapy.
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Clearly, Mike Pence is one of the most virulently, proudly homophobic men to walk through the White House in quite some time. Donald Trump selected him as his running mate with full knowledge of his regressive beliefs, indeed embracive of them, knowing they would help him pick up votes from the religious right.
Now, it’s been revealed that not only is Trump comfortable with Pence’s homophobia, he thinks it’s funny and makes jokes about it, reports The New Yorker. During one meeting between the two executive branch leaders, the discussion turned to gay rights. Trump pointed at Pence and said, “Don’t ask that guy — he wants to hang them all!”
The cavalier nature in which Trump evokes the idea of mass extermination of gay America is disturbing, but certainly not surprising from a man who has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be utterly lacking in empathy. The only person that matters to Trump is Trump, and he thinks that the oppression of gays is not only permissible but hilarious.
Reportedly, Trump also enjoys demeaning Pence to remind him of his subordinate role by asking visitors to the Vice President’s office if Pence “made them pray.” When a scholar explained to the two men that repealing Roe v. Wade — a long-time goal of the ultraconservative bloc — would simply lead to states legalizing abortions individually, Trump said, “You see? You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.”
Both comments show once again that Trump’s faux-Christianity is just that, an invented trait to pander to his base. As with all other values he purports to hold, his piety is just a trick of the light, an illusion conjured by a pathological charlatan.