|VP (elect) Mike Pence (DonkeyHotey via Flickr)|
Mike Pence’s top sevenmost homophobic moments (out of many)
Indiana Governor [and currently VP elect] Mike Pence is a darling of the religious right, and with good reason. Over the course of his political career, he has been a crusader (in his white-bread way) for the right’s pet causes. Chief among these, of course, is stopping the “homosexual agenda.”
While Pence is best known for his bumbling attempt to rebrand antigay bigotry as religious liberty last year, that was hardly his first foray into the fields of homophobia. In fact, both as governor and as a Congressman, Pence took the lead in attacking legal equality. He is far and away the most anti-gay candidate to run on a national GOP ticket, which is saying a lot.
Now that he’s accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination, here’s a roundup of some of his choicest moments. Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of them…
1. Supporting a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality
In 2006, then-Rep. Pence told 100 of his fellow Republicans that he supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex weddings. Or as Pence put it, supported “God’s plan” in the face of the destruction of civilization. “Societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family,” Pence complained.
2. Signed a bill to jail same-sex couples for applying for a marriage license
In an effort to make a bad idea even worse, as governor Pence signed a bill in 2013 that would jail same-sex couples in Indiana who applied for a marriage license. To prove that he wasn’t singling gay people out, Pence was also willing to jail marriage clerks who supplied a license or clergy who performed the wedding.
3. Wanted to divert funding from HIV prevention to conversion therapy
This one’s a two-fer: as a Congressional candidate in 2000, Pence wrapped two awful ideas into a single dreadful proposal. He wanted to ensure that “federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus.” So where should the money go? “Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” In other words, conversion therapy.
4. Opposed repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Longing for the good old days of complete invisibility for gay people, Pence predictably ignored the preponderance of evidence in support of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Instead, Pence put himself out there as a leading opponent of the policy change. “There’s no question to mainstream homosexuality within active duty military would have an impact on unit cohesion,” Pence argued, dismissing the repeal as “some liberal domestic social agenda.”
5. Complained about the passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill
In Pence’s ideal world, there would be zero protections. So it’s no surprise that he groused when the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes bill was signed into law in 2009. Pence didn’t cite legal objections. Instead, he complained that it advanced a “radical social agenda” and would have “a chilling effect on religious expression, from the pulpits, in our temples, in our mosques and in our churches.”
6. Served on the board of an antigay group
Pence has had a close relationship with the antigay leadership in his state. He served on the board of the Indiana Family Institute, an affiliate of Focus on the Family, which has been in the forefront of attacks on LGBT rights in the state, including a state constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. Thanks to its connections to Pence and other Republicans, IFI has been the recipient of funding for the state’s “Health Marriage” program. The former head of IFI has served as an aide to Pence both in Congress and the state house and as a campaign consultant.
7. Argued that passing ENDA would ban Bibles from the workplace
Of course, in Congress Pence voted against federal workplace protections. What was unique was his reasoning, which was that ENDA would discriminate against Christians. To comply with the law, Pence claimed, “the employer has to ban employees from having a Bible at the workplace for their break time, or displaying Bible verses.” Foreshadowing the Indiana religious liberty law, he went on: “We must stand for the right of every American to practice their faith according to the dictates of their conscience, whether it be in the public square or in the workplace.”
Source: LGBTQ Nation, John Gallagher, July 21, 2016
Trump’s top domestic policy adviser:
being gay is a ‘lifestyle’ that ‘can be changed’
President-elect Donald Trump selected Ken Blackwell, a former Ohio secretary of state who ran for governor in 2006 and was crushed by a nearly 34 point margin, to lead up domestic policy for his presidential transition team. Blackwell is also a senior fellow with the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designated a hate group because of its anti-LGBT positions.
Blackwell is not exactly shy about his anti-LGBT stance. Indeed, as The Guardian’s Scott Bixby notes, Blackwell claimed during his gubernatorial bid that homosexuality is a “choice” that “can be changed.”
Blackwell’s position puts him at odds with, among other things, the Supreme Court of the United States, which said in its marriage equality decision Obergefell v. Hodges that sexual orientation is an “immutable nature,” and that “psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable.”
But, of course, it may not matter much what the Court said in Obergefell after Trump is done remaking the Court. Obergefell was a 5–4 decision, and three of the justices who joined that decision, Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Breyer, are quite elderly. Meanwhile, both Trump’s decision to associate with Blackwell and previous promises by Vice President-elect Mike Pence suggest that Trump’s Supreme Court appointees will be decidedly anti-LGBT.
If just one of the justices in the Obergefell majority leave the Court, marriage equality may not have long to live in the United States.
Source: ThinkProgress, Millhiser, November 11, 2016
Ex-gay therapists have a silly new name
for the same old sh*** they peddle
The country’s leading ex-gay professional organization has a new plan for rebranding the harmful, ineffective “treatment” they offer. Not only do they hope the treatment will sound more appealing under the new name, they also hope it will skirt the increasing number of state and local laws protecting minors from being subjected to it.
Attempts to de-gay people have gone by numerous names over the years: ex-gay therapy, conversion therapy, reparative therapy, reorientation therapy, sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), “pray the gay away,” and even “the homo no mo’ half-way house.” But the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (ATSCI, the network of ex-gay therapists formerly known as NARTH) has a new name they want clinicians to use: “Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy” (SAFE-T).
|A new name for the same old shit|
Former ATSCI president Christopher Rosik explains in a new memo that the organization invented the language of SAFE-T to distance itself from ex-gay therapy’s horrible reputation. They no longer want to imply, for example, that people can actually change from an exclusive same-sex orientation to an exclusive opposite-sex orientation, which they admit is “statistically rare” — still perhaps a generous description. In fact, they want to avoid any reference to “orientation” whatsoever, because their new thinking relies on the belief that orientation is not “an actual entity.” And they don’t want people to think that ex-gay therapy is outside the range of normal therapeutic practices, even though all major medical organizations have condemned it.
The overwhelming number of people who pursue ex-gay therapy do so because they believe their “unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA)” contradict either their own religious beliefs or the beliefs and convictions of their family and community. ATSCI has long said that anybody who experiences this conflict should have a chance to resolve it in favor of honoring those anti-gay beliefs, even though attempts to suppress sexual orientation have been found to be both ineffective and also harmful. Even being exposed to the belief that homosexuality is sinful or wrong has been shown to cause mental harm in people who experience same-sex attraction.
That’s why five states and Washington, D.C. have banned conversion therapy for minors. No law has yet banned the treatment outright, so all adults can still pursue the treatment for themselves. The laws only protect children from having the harmful therapy forced upon them. ASTCI seems to hope that the SAFE-T rebranding means they won’t be subjected to these laws, because they’re no longer claiming they can change a person’s orientation — except that they are.
An abusive shame-based “therapy” by any other name smells as rotten. (Read more...)
Source: ThinkProgress, Zack Ford, November 2, 2016