Over the last week White House flacks have declared that Mike Pence cannot possibly be considered anti-LGBT because, after all, he totally shook hands with Ireland’s gay prime minister and even had a meal with the PM and his partner.
That prompted CNN’s fact-checkers to dredge up a mountain of anti-gay actions and quotes from Pence, none of which were remotely surprising to any of us here.
Which brings us to today.
Via email from the Family Research Council:
News broke yesterday that in 1993, Vice President Mike Pence—then with the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, a conservative think tank—opposed an effort to add “sexual orientation” as a protected category in a Lafayette, Indiana human relations ordinance. The biggest surprise here may be that anyone found this discovery—in an old issue of the Lafayette Journal and Courier—to be the least bit newsworthy.
Pence said in 1993, “It represents a very bad move in public policy” – and 26 years later, most of the country agrees. Pence added, “It opens up from a legal standpoint a Pandora’s Box of legal rights and legal difficulties once you identify homosexuals as a discrete and insular minority.” Can anyone really deny that the LGBT rights movement has led to “legal rights” and “legal difficulties” that might not have been obvious in 1993? This was a prescient, and entirely accurate, forecast.
A few of the quotes attributed to Pence could have used greater elaboration. For example, he is quoted as saying that “homosexuality at a very minimum is a choice by the individual.” LGBT activists insist, with reason, that most people do not choose to experience same-sex attractions. (This does not mean, however, that such attractions are innate. A recent study of the connections between genetics and homosexual conduct has disproved the claim.)
Most of the arguments Pence offered in 1993 are the same arguments that we at Family Research Council and other social conservatives make today in opposing radical LGBT rights legislation like the proposed federal Equality Act. What would be news is if Mike Pence had ever taken any other position.
The statement above was authored by FRC “senior fellow” Peter Sprigg, who is well-known here for testifying against LGBT rights before almost every state legislature.
In 2010 Sprigg notably told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that there should be “criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.”
During a later battle for the immigration rights of bi-national LGBT couples, Sprigg declared that rather than grants visas to the partners of American LGBT citizens, the United States would be better off to “export” its homosexuals to other countries.