LGBT group slams Trump’s choice of running mate

Donald Trump & Mike Pence

Donald Trump & Mike Pence

Donald Trump’s choice of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate in the presidential election is not good news for LGBT Americans.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest LGBT rights organisation, has blasted Trump for announcing Pence, an evangelical Christian, as his candidate for Vice President.

“Donald Trump just doubled down on his agenda of hate and discrimination by choosing the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Mike Pence for his ticket,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.

“Mike Pence has never left any question about his animus toward LGBTQ people, from peddling a hateful and damaging ‘right to discriminate bill’ in Indiana last year, to his longstanding opposition to marriage equality – positions shared by Donald Trump.”

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 subsequently defending the bill despite an outcry from the business community and a majority of 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 LGBT people.

Pence’s discriminatory bill had enormous consequences for the business and economic health of Indiana after a flood of companies spoke out against his bill.

Indianapolis’s nonprofit tourism agency estimated that in their city alone, Pence’s anti-LGBTQ bill cost up to 12 conventions and $60 million in lost revenue. Polling conducted by HRC after the 2015 fight found that 75 percent of Indiana residents said the debate was bad for the state’s economy and 70 percent of those surveyed said they opposed the law.

Pence also opposes marriage equality and Department of Education guidelines supporting transgender students.

When serving in Congress, he voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, calling it a “radical social agenda.”

In recent weeks, Trump happily appeared alongside Tony Perkins – leader of LGBTI hate group the Family Research Council.

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