October 16, 2017 at 5:25 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
VP pushes back on Trump’s hang the gays joke, but won’t deny it
Trump Pence, gay news, Washington Blade

President Trump reportedly joked Vice President Mike Pence wants to “wants to hang” all the gays. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence is pushing back on a New Yorker article reporting President Trump privately joked his No. 2 in office wants to hang all gay people, but won’t deny Trump said those words.

Alyssa Farah, press secretary for the vice president, made the comments in response to a Washington Blade inquiry on why Trump would make that joke and he thinks the death penalty for homosexual acts is a human rights violation.

“Articles like this are why the American people have lost so much faith in the press,” Farah said. “The New Yorker piece is filled with unsubstantiated, unsourced claims that are untrue and offensive.”

Farah didn’t respond to a follow-up inquiry on whether Trump’s joke about Pence wanting to hang gays was among the article’s claims are that are “untrue and offensive.”

A New Yorker profile piece on Pence reported Trump made the remarks during a private meeting between the two and a legal scholar. When the discussion turned to gay rights, Trump motioned toward Pence and joked, “Don’t ask that guy — he wants to hang them all!”

The joke makes light of Pence’s long anti-LGBT history, including support for a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage nationwide as well as opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, hate crimes legislation and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal. But Pence most famously signed a religious freedom law enabling anti-LGBT discrimination before being forced to sign a “fix” under pressure from the LGBT community and business leaders.

Trump’s reported remarks were quickly repudiated by LGBT rights supporters, who accused him of fanning the flames for violence and discrimination against LGBT people domestically and abroad.

“Donald Trump’s remark lays open the depth of their hostility and animosity toward LGBTQ people, and just how deeply they believe we should be treated as second-class citizens in our own country,” Griffin said. “That’s not funny, that’s dangerous and un-American.”

Also condemning the reported joke was Chelsea Clinton, who took to Twitter to say remarks about killing LGBT people or anyone else are inappropriate.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • lnm3921

    We can already see by Trump’s support for anti-GLBT groups like the FRC and Sessions actions against GLBT what Trump’s agenda is for the community! This reported “joke” is no surprise! I’ve always said that Pence has gone on record stating that he’s a christian first before he’s even a Republican so you know what he would do if Trump were impeached and he moved in.

    Even a simple thing like recognizing GLBT pride month won’t ever happen under this administration as it would be offensive to right-wing christian conservatives that support Trump!

    We have no friends in the White House! Time to accept the reality and stop living in denial! The Trump administration is a sick joke!

    • Objective and Nonpartisan

      Agreed. I remember talking with some delusional Queers/GLBTQs during the septic presidential campaign. They had fallen for the Orange Man’s stunt of holding up the Rainbow Flag (upside down). They were completely in denial that the Orange Man was a Queer savior. If this were the days of the Gay Mecca era, Queers would be in the streets by the thousands in all major cities nationwide. Today? Silent. Too busy playing on their adult pacifiers (their phones and getting the latest app to see how many people liked them on bilionaire-owned FB). Also, too busy partying. I think this despicable regime could start lining up Queers to be hung and few people would say anything. From what I’ve noticed in San Francisco, the majority of Queers have gone back in the closet. That’s the way it seems here. I can’t tell who is straight and who is gay anymore. With this “gay assimilation” nonsense, they’re trying so hard to be like the breeders. Heteronormative.

      • lnm3921

        Breeders. I haven’t heard anyone use that term in a long while. I do miss the gay neighborhoods full of bars, gay shops, restaurants and cruising in the streets. Such exciting times. Now with these online hookup sights it’s easier to hide unlike the old days when the only way to meet someone was to go out in person to look.

        Many young queens have pretty much always been uninterested in politics. Just interested in partying, getting high and getting laid. Ironically it was AIDS that forced them to get politically active to survive and go against the status quo! People couldn’t hide anymore then. Glad you recognize what wr’ve Lost and people sadly now fail to appreciate. They have no idea how dangerous and difficult it was to be out taking so many rights for granted. As the old smoking ad used to say, you’ve come a long way baby

        We were invisible before due to safety concerns and to avoid discrimination but now people stupidly think no one cares anymore. It’s when you become invisible that new generations buy into the lies said against you because you are not there to challenge that and prove otherwise!

  • old married lady

    So the Screaming Yam put his back paw in his mouth again. Tell me something surprising.

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