Former reality TV star-turned-serious U.S. presidential contender Donald Trump has finally announced his choice for VP, and the man of the hour is none other than Indiana governor Mike Pence. So, who is Mike Pence? A look at his voting record and the bizarre anti-LGBT and anti-choice laws that have been introduced in Indiana under his reign give potential Trump voters a glimpse into the future of women’s and LGBT rights under a Trump/Pence presidency, reports Complex.
I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2016
If America finds itself electing Trump as president in November, Mike Pence will be his VP. Since this man could be one step away from the most powerful job in the world, it makes sense that voters take a serious look at Mike Pence’s political history before casting their ballots in November.
Mike Pence is 57-years-old, and according to Hillary Clinton, “bad for women’s health.” He’s also been called anti-LGBT by private citizens and politicians alike largely due to Indiana’s anti-LGBT bill (formally known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act), which resulted in #BoycottIndiana and the state losing $60 million in revenue, according to the Advocate.
It was @mike_pence who signed legislation legalizing discrimination against the LGBT+ community in Indiana, which caused a national uproar.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 15, 2016
While Donald Trump has promoted himself as an ally of the LGBT community, promising to fight for their collective rights, VP Mike Pence has worked tirelessly since his 2012 election to prevent the LGBT community from getting equal protection under the law.
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
Maybe Donald Trump just meant that he would fight to keep guns on the streets so that the LGBT community can (presumably) protect itself from future attacks similar to the one that happened at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Because with Mike Pence as his VP, it’s unlikely that Trump will be getting support from Mike Pence to make sure that the LGBT community can work, use the bathroom, get married and/or adopt children without being legally discriminated against based on their sexual orientation.
If potential VP Mike Pence’s LGBT rights record isn’t worrisome enough, the 50th governor of Indiana also has a very long and storied political record of slashing women’s reproductive rights. In 2016, Indiana passed one of the most sweeping and controversial anti-abortion bills in the United States. That bill was signed into law by Governor Pence.
Under the controversial new law, women would be banned from seeking abortions due to “the race, gender, or disability of the fetus.” While the law might sound reasonable upon first read, the reality of the matter is that it directly targeted women facing one of the worst reproductive situations possible: much-wanted pregnancies that result in severely deformed or disabled fetuses.
The backlash against the Indiana bill, signed into law by Trump VP Mike Pence, was immediate and even somewhat humorous. It spawned the hashtag #PeriodForPence, which had women calling the governor’s office and burning up his social media pages asking for menstrual advice, given his apparent expertise regarding what goes on down there.
Ultimately, a federal judge intervened, signing an order blocking the implementation of Mike Pence’s anti-woman Indiana anti-abortion law, which would have gone so far as to hold physicians performing abortions criminally liable for wrongful death if they performed an abortion for any of the above reasons.
The TIME Magazine cover showing late age breast feeding is disgusting--sad what TIME did to get noticed. @TIME— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2012
While Donald Trump and Mike Pence have seemingly divergent belief systems when it comes to the LGBT community, they appear to come closer to meeting in the middle when it comes to women’s rights. Trump doesn’t have the most sterling of track records when it comes to his relationship with the female community in the U.S., although he has a history of flip-flopping when it comes to abortion rights.
In addition to trying (and failing) to implement one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S. and working tirelessly to suppress the rights of the LGBT community, Trump VP Mike Pence has also used his political career to vote against raising the minimum wage and broadening health insurance coverage for low-income kids.
Something else to keep in mind, in this time of turbulent law enforcement and race-relations in the United States, Trump VP Pence also used his time as the governor of Indiana to sign a bill that allows police officers to withhold body cam footage at their discretion.
What do you think? Did Donald Trump make a prudent political decision? Will Trump’s choice of running mate influence your vote in November? Do you trust the idea of Mike Pence as Trump’s VP?
[Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images]