And those exclusionary politics are on full display now that the Republican lawmaker is running for governor.
One of the load-bearing planks in his platform is the idea that "two-parent, intact households" can help eradicate poverty. Gay couples, however, need not apply.
"I understand the desire of some to hurry off to the fault lines of a social issues debate, but I actually think we could create a broad consensus around this where we say in effect, 'Are there ways for us in Indiana to affirm two-parent, married couples and to encourage more kids to get married, to stay married and to wait to have kids until they get married?," Pence said in an AP interview.
Same-sex couples aren't part of his plan because they can't get married, he said. Marriage equality is banned in Indiana, and you can be sure Pence isn't interested in making it legal. "Our focus here is on an affirmative statement about traditional, two-parent married couples," he said.
Aaron Schaler from the Indiana chapter of the Stonewall Democrats responded by saying, "Mike Pence needs to look at the many, many cases where same-sex couples do it well and in many cases have done it better than opposite-sex couples." It may also be helpful for him to look at data showing income disparities between same-sex and heterosexual couples.