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Donald Trump and Mike Pence Would Fail Their Own Ignorant Test

by Brandon Lorenz August 15, 2016

HRC today released the following statement in response to media reports that Donald Trump will require immigrants to pass an “ideological test” that would include interviews about their feelings about LGBTQ equality.

“What’s craziest about this ignorant, incomprehensible plan is that Donald Trump and Mike Pence would fail their own test,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Just last week, Donald Trump courted votes in Orlando from some of the nation’s most notorious anti-LGBTQ activists, including people who have worked to export anti-LGBTQ hate abroad. Trump and Pence have vowed to to roll back nationwide marriage equality, supported vile laws like North Carolina’s HB2 and pledged to appoint anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court justices. Pence is best known by most Americans for the hateful denial-of-service law he peddled in Indiana last year, and even sought to divert funding from HIV programs to promote the abusive practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy.’”

Last week, on the two-month anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting that took the lives of 49 LGBTQ people and allies, Trump courted anti-LGBTQ activists just 10 miles from the site of the tragedy in Orlando. Among the organizations attending was Liberty Counsel, which supports and defends archaic laws criminalizing homosexuality with harsh punishments around the world, and has condemned President Obama and the U.S. government for speaking out against such laws, saying, “America should not be trying to make that country act in an immoral way.”

Trump has also doubled down on his anti-LGBTQ agenda by putting Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on the ticket. Pence became a national disgrace in 2015, for his “license to discriminate” bill that could have allowed businesses to deny service to LGBTQ people -- and for subsequently defending the bill after an outcry from the business community and a majority of Hoosier voters. In a now notorious interview with ABC last year, Pence refused to answer eight separate times when asked whether businesses should be able to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

In recent weeks, Trump has also campaigned alongside Tony Perkins -- leader of the Family Research Council, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Here’s a snapshot of how Donald Trump and Mike Pence align in their pursuit of undermining LGBTQ equality:

On Marriage Equality

·         Trump: Vowed to roll back nationwide marriage equality by appointing justices to the Supreme Court who would reverse nationwide marriage equality.

·         Pence: Pence opposed the Supreme Court’s nationwide marriage equality ruling, saying, “Like many Hoosiers, I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman…” After the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which barred legally married same-sex couple from having their marriages recognized by the federal government, was ruled unconstitutional, he urged amending the state of Indiana’s constitution to outlaw marriage equality.

On Non-Discrimination Protections

·         Trump: Trump has committed to signing the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act,” a bill to enable taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people in the federal government. Trump said at the Iowa Faith and Family Coalition, his priority as President would be to “preserve and protect our religious liberty.”

·         Pence: While in Congress, Pence voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” by saying it would turn the military into “a backdrop for social experimentation." He voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, calling it a “radical social agenda.” As governor, his “right to discriminate” bill could have allowed businesses to discriminate and deny service to LGBTQ people because of who they are or whom they love.

On Transgender Equality

·         Trump: When asked about laws like North Carolina’s deeply discriminatory HB2, Trump said he supported the law, saying, “I’m going with the state. The state, they know what’s going on, they see what’s happening and generally speaking I’m with the state on things like this. I’ve spoken with your governor, I’ve spoken with a lot of people and I’m going with the state.” Trump previously told Sean Hannity that when it comes to laws like North Carolina’s HB2, Trump said he would “leave it up to the states.”

·         Pence: Opposed guidance from the Department of Education that clarifies that transgender students have a right under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to access restrooms consistent with their gender identity, saying, “The federal government has no business getting involved in issues of this nature.”


Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 

Brandon Lorenz
Brandon Lorenz


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