BY THE PRIDE | “Societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.”
Those were the words of a man who is now a heart-beat away from the Presidency of the United States of America, a man whose agenda of antigay hostility has now been super-powered.
As Indiana Governor, Mike Pence attracted national attention when, in 2014, he ordered the state of Indiana to disregard a federal judge’s order that overturned an Indiana law that specifically excluded same-sex couples from the state’s marriage laws, ruling it unconstitutional.
His administration threatened to jail people who tried.
“In consultation with our legal counsel, we believe a proper reading of the Court of Appeals decision stays the impact of the initial federal court decision,” Pence said Wednesday. “As governor, I have an obligation to uphold the laws of the state of Indiana.”
The law he was upholding was a 2013 law he sought. The law prevented same-sex couples from applying for a marriage license in the state of Indiana, making it a Level 6 felony, punishable by 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. The law also made it a Class B Misdemeanor for a clergyman, judge, mayor, city clerk or town clerk-treasurer to perform a same-sex marriage, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Ultimately such laws were struck down after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality.
But Pence continued to seek a way to prevent LGBT people from acheiving equality. He went about it in the most draconian way.
In 2015, Pence initially signed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA. He then backpedaled — a little — on language that critics feared could be discriminatory against gay people. The measure allowed public or private discrimination against LGBTQ people if the basis of the discrimination is a religious belief.
After criticism from the business community, Pence signed an amendment to the law intended to protect gays and lesbians.
Trump has promised to sign a Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Pence said gay couples signaled ‘societal collapse’
In 2006, Pence told a group of the 100 most-conservative House members, that he supports a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman only. He cited a Harvard study in saying, “societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.”
Pence says being gay a choice
..and said keeping gays from marrying was not discrimination, but an enforcement of “God’s idea.”
Pence opposes laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace
Pence voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007 and later said the law “wages war on freedom and religion in the workplace.”
The bill has yet to pass congress.
Pence opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Pence rejects the Obama administration executive order on transgender bathrooms
The federal government directed school districts to allow students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. The executive order came as criticism overwhelmed a North Carolina law that would have restricted the use of bathrooms.
Along with many other conservatives, Pence opposed Obama’s directive and said it was a state issue. “The federal government has not business getting involved in issues of this nature,” Pence said.