April 19, 2018 at 7:05 am EST | by Chris Johnson
Campaign seeks to expose anti-LGBT history of ‘The Real Mike Pence’

Mike Pence, gay news, Washington Blade

A new report seeks to expose the anti-LGBT record of Vice President Pence (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The nation’s largest LGBT group launched a new campaign on Thursday seeking to expose the anti-LGBT record of the No. 2 public official in the United States: Vice President Mike Pence.

The Human Rights Campaign initiative consists of a video highlighting Pence’s past anti-LGBT statements over his years in public office as well as a report detailing his anti-LGBT record and positions contrary to other progressive causes, such as abortion rights for women, climate change and gun control.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement Pence “has made a career out of attacking the rights and equal dignity of LGBTQ people, women and other marginalized communities.”

“Now as vice president, he poses one of the greatest threats to equality in the history of our movement,” Griffin added. “With the world distracted by Donald Trump’s scandal-ridden White House, Mike Pence’s nefarious agenda has been allowed to fly under the radar for too long. He has become not only the most powerful vice president in American history, but also the least scrutinized. No more.”

One highlight of the material is the “religious freedom” bill Pence signed into law as governor of Indiana enabling individuals and businesses to deny services to LGBT people. But the campaign also talks about his time as a lawmaker, when he took to the floor of the U.S. House to support a U.S. constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage nationwide and spoke out against hate crimes protections, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

In his role as vice president, the Human Rights Campaign credits Pence with quietly lobbying Congress to pass an amendment that would barred payment in the U.S. military health system for gender reassignment surgery. (The amendment failed on the House floor). With rumors circulating Pence was a driving force behind President Trump’s transgender military ban, the report asserts the vice president had a helping hand on the issue. Pence’s office has denied any major involvement on the issue.

Read the report here and watch the video below.

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

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