Mike Pence was the host with the most last night when a “big queer dance party” broke out on his front lawn. Mike Pence was not home at the time, having gone out for a very straight double date with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who tweeted a picture of himself with Pence at the same time as the “big queer dance party” was unfurling rainbow flags and twerking outside of the soon-to-be-VP’s Washington home.
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) January 19, 2017
Mike Pence has raised the ire of LGBTQ activists since his days as a congressman and later as Governor of Indiana with his staunch, anti-gay stance. In 2015, Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that permits businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples on the basis of conscientious objection. This was only one in a long string of Mike Pence’s decidedly conservative political moves targeting LGBTQ rights, a stance that inspired Werk For Peace, a queer rights group, to throw Mike Pence his very own queer dance party.
Some of Mike Pence’s most contested anti-gay political moves include supporting a 2006 constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. As reported by Time, Mike Pence stated, “Societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.”
Mike Pence also signed a 2013 bill that would jail same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses and opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” saying, “There’s no question to mainstream homosexuality within active duty military would have an impact on unit cohesion” in an interview on MSNBC in 2010. Mike Pence also supported diverting funding from HIV research and treatment to “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” Presumably, Mike Pence was referencing conversion therapy, a practice that has been widely condemned and which may soon be banned altogether, as reported by the Washington Post. Mike Pence has also served on the board of an affiliate of Focus on the Family, an organization that promotes traditional marriage and opposes same-sex marriage.
All of these instances have left LGBTQ activists deeply concerned about what will happen when Mike Pence becomes VP alongside President-elect Donald Trump. When Mike Pence moved to his current home, his neighbors welcomed him by flying rainbow flags from their own homes. Speaking to USA Today, neighbor Joanna Pratt explained that she spearheaded the effort to raise flags and demonstrate peaceful opposition to Mike Pence’s stance on queer equality.
“I’m personally hoping our rainbow flags will continue flying for four years. I hope those will all stay up as long as we are represented by an administration who does not believe in those things.”
Currently, Pratt estimates that 300 rainbow flags have been raised in the neighborhood since Mike Pence moved in, along with signs supporting Planned Parenthood. Joining in the colorful display, activists descended on Mike Pence’s home last night brandishing flags and signs supporting queer rights. The LGBTQ activists came in droves to twerk their resistance to Mike Pence at the big gay dance party planned by Werk for Peace. Several hundred people came to shake and groove in support of the queer dance party. The dancers showered glitter on the crowd and waved glows sticks and rainbow paraphernalia, setting a colorful and vibrant backdrop for a protest.
— (((Matt Wood))) (@mattfwood) January 19, 2017
— Alexander Rubinstein (@AlexR_DC) January 19, 2017
Mike Pence has not yet responded to the “big queer dance party” that he unwittingly hosted last night, but attendees hope that their message was heard. In the words of Firas Nasr, a protest organizer who spoke to the Washington Post about the queer dance party, “The idea is to leave a mark that Mike Pence will never forget. We want to send a strong message to Pence that we’re a united queer community. We’ve always stood united. There’s always space to dance.”
[Featured Image by Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx/AP Images]