Vice President Mike Pence once argued that homosexuality was a choice during his fight in the early 1990s against local efforts in Indiana to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Pence’s opposition to LGBT equality has long drawn the scorn of gay rights activists and made him a champion of the Religious Right.
But scrutiny of Pence’s record on LGBT issues intensified recently when White House Deputy press secretary Judd Deere suggested last week in a tweet that the vice president wasn’t anti-gay because he was having lunch with the Irish prime minister, who is gay, and his partner during a state visit.
Pence argued in the 1990s that, unlike protections for African Americans, homosexuals choose or learn to be gay and were part of a “grassroots-generated movement for recognition of homosexual rights” nationwide. “Once you identify homosexuals as a minority, then by definition they would need to be afforded constitutional protection,” Pence added.