Vice President Mike Pence spoke with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. Along with many other topics, Pence was asked about the LGBT protections put in place by Obama that the White House said would “remain intact,” amid social conservatives who are calling for their removal.
STEPHANOPOULOS: President Trump decided this week to let stand President Obama’s executive order on LGBT rights. And it prompted this question from a prominent social conservative, Bob Vander Plaats. He said, “Our base is wondering why Obama’s executive order is allowed to stand.”
What’s the answer?
PENCE: I think throughout the campaign, President Trump made it clear that discrimination would have no place in our administration. I mean, he was the very first Republican nominee to mention the LGBTQ community at our Republican National Convention and was applauded for it. And I was there applauding with him.
I think the generosity of his spirit, recognizing that in the patriot’s heart, there’s no room for prejudice is part of who this president is. But I also think that the speech that he gave this week at the National Prayer Breakfast, reiterating his commitment to repeal the Johnson Amendment, that’s put a chilling effect on free speech in religious institutions around the country.
Pence, as his record shows, is no friend to the LGBTQ community.
In 2000 during his first successful run for Congress, Pence said that he was in favor of sending money allocated to care for people with HIV/AIDS to organizations that provide conversion therapy.
From running a think-tank that published virulently anti-gay articles, to attempting to divert HIV/AIDS money to fund conversion therapy, to refusing to protect LGBT Hoosiers from discrimination, to legalizing anti-LGBT discrimination in Indiana, to cozying up to notorious homophobes, to supporting a ban on gay marriage, and decrying the ‘mainstreaming of homosexuality in the military’ after DADT was repealed, Pence’s record is among the worst records on LGBTQ issues of anyone who has ever occupied the office of the Vice President.
For Mike Pence to say he was “applauding” Donald Trump for mentioning the LGBT community is a joke, and it’s important to call out falsehoods and show how often Pence has tried to harm the LGBT community.
Stephanopoulos and Pence went on to talk about “religious liberty” legislation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do think a new executive order is necessary on religious liberty? Or is current law sufficient?
PENCE: Well, the president’s made it clear that he wants to take action on the Johnson amendment. Back in the 1950s, the Congress passed a law that essentially threatened the tax-exempt status of churches and synagogues and religious institutions if they were seen to be involved in political expression.
And I have to tell you, I don’t — I don’t think we’d have ever made it to these hallowed halls back in 1790 if the — if the pulpits of this country had been silenced from speaking about what they thought was right and wrong.
The president provided real leadership in the campaign where he identified the Johnson amendment and he told people of faith of every background across this country that he would work to repeal it. And he’s directed the administration to begin to look at ways, both legislatively and through executive action to do that…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But no executive orders beyond that, beyond the jon– fixing the Johnson amendment, in your view?
PENCE: Well, I think that’ll be the purview of the president to determine whether any of that’s necessary. But– but– I will tell you for our part. The focus of this administration will continue to be to have a safer America, to have a more prosperous America, and to continue to advance the president’s agenda, both on Capitol Hill and through executive action and carry that message all across the country.