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Wednesday 09 November 2016


Vice?

Posted in: Comment
By Craig Young - 7th November 2016

In concentrating too much attention on US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, some LGBTI commentators fear that there has been insufficient note made of his vice-presidential running mate, Mike Pence.

Pence is the Republican Governor of Indiana. Given the lack of political experience manifested by Donald Trump, and given the precedent of active George W. Bush vice president Dick Cheney and his role in fomenting the Afghan and Iraqi Wars at his post, it is possible that Mike Pence was parachuted into the Trump campaign to insure that the flailing Republican candidate stuck to the religious social conservative ideological purity 'script' and also serves to attract religious social conservative voters who might be dubious about the Republican candidate's carpetbagger status when it comes to their core obsessions- abortion, homosexuality, assisted suicide, service provider discrimination/"religious freedom", opposing LGBTI rights and feminism.

Pence served as a Republican Indiana Congressperson for twelve years (2001-2013). He served on several Congressional committees, mostly to do with agriculture, judicial issues, foreign affairs and international relations during his tenure in that role. In 2012, he stood for election as Republican Governor of Indiana, and won. As a fiscal conservative, he cut correctional services and family support services, and presided over sluggish economic growth in that state. Carrier Corp and United Technologies Electronics Corporation closed their facilities in the state during his time in office. He also passed anti-union "right to work" legislation as well as tax cuts and expenditure on a rail freight initiative that he had opposed as a federal Congressperson. He supports charter schools and has had turbulent relationships with the state school system and teachers unions in his state. He is anti-environmentalist when it comes to sustainable fuels, libertarian when it comes to opposing gun control legislation. Ominously, he interfered with a state needle exchange programme and defunded Indiana Planned Parenthood, indicating that he places religious social conservative dogma above evidence-based social and healh policy when it comes to HIV and STI prevention and reproductive and sexual health.

In March 2015, he ran into trouble with the US LGBT community when he passed a so-called "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" which was slammed for legitimising service provider and business discrimination against LGBTI individuals. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, GenCon, the Disciples of Christ liberal Christian denomination, Apple, Salesforce.Com and the business rating website Angie's List all threatened to withdraw their business interests from the state, cancel proposed events or plant expansions and other reprisals if the RFRA did not delete its anti-LGBTI clauses. In April 2015, Pence backed down, amending the legislation to erase the service provider discrimination clauses. He also supported retention of anti-LGBT military service discrimination, opposed the proposed anti-discrimination Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and supports 'reparative therapy' attempts to brainwash LGBTI individuals out of their sexual orientation or gender identity-even vulnerable minors.

He also passed anti-abortion legislation that banned termination of pregnancies in which there were fetal anomalies, until the US Supreme Court struck down the provision as onerous. Pence also opposes stem cell research and federal funding of abortion services. In May 2016, Donald Trump selected Pence as his vice presidential running mate.

His fiscal conservative stances include opposing the US federal minimum wage, and opposing the Wall Street and car industry corporate 'bail outs' under President George W.Bush. However, he was also found to have used the resultant stimulus package expenditure to fund projects in his home state while a Congressperson. He opposes the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), supports privatisation of federal social security programmes, supports stricter immigration policies, and (departing from Trump) supports free trade agreements. He supported the Iraqi War and the Obama administration intervention against Libya. Like Trump, he is a climate change denialist. His religious views appear to be charismatic Catholic, that denomination's version of Pentecostalism.

If anything happens to Trump, this man could become the next US President if the United States is foolish enough to endorse the Republican ticket on Wednesday November 9. Let us hope not.

Recommended:


Dawn Ennis: "Introducing America's Foremost Anti-LGBT Governor- Mike Pence"Advocate: 20.07.2016:http://www. advocate.com/election/2016/7/ 20/introducing-americas- foremost-anti-lgbt-governor- mike-pence-video

Dawn Ennis: "Hold Your Nose: Antigay Governor Mike Pence makes the case for Donald Trump"Advocate:04.10.2016:http://www. advocate.com/election/2016/10/ 04/hold-your-nose-antigay-gov- mike-pence-makes-his-case- donald-trump-video

"Everything you need to know about Governor Mike Pence's Anti-LGBT Record"Advocate:04.10.2016:http://www. advocate.com/election/2016/10/ 04/everything-you-need-know- about-gov-mike-pences-anti- lgbtq-record-video

"Donald Trump clearly didn't ask the gays about Mike Pence" Advocate: 15.07.2016:http://www. advocate.com/election/2016/7/ 15/donald-trump-clearly-didnt- ask-gays-about-mike-pence

Craig Young - 7th November 2016

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