The relationship between VP-elect Mike Pence and the LGBT community has been tenuous, and Trump VP Pence is being asked to put his cards on the table. Pence is saying that he never supported conversion therapy, which is a program designed to “treat” homosexuality, and he also insists he never backed electroshock therapy to make people straight.
But there are some things concerning the status quo that Pence wants to change, and that is making some stand up, take notice, and object to Mike Pence, says the Inquisitr. Mike Pence wants to remove bathroom choice protection for LGBT individuals and also does not want companies punished for refusing to offer birth control to employees if they have a religious objection. Women’s groups and the LGBT community believe that Pence is committed to getting rid of all laws that have been put into place in the last administration.
The New York Times is providing the public with a history of Mike Pence and his thoughts on conversion therapy. People are concerned and critical about Mike Pence’s record on gay and transgender rights, as Pence has been clear that he does not support gains made by the LGBT community in the course of the last administration.
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One idea that has followed Pence for years has been the idea that he is a supporter of conversion therapy. LGBT groups are definitely not on board with this, and the medical community claims that it does not work.
Pence’s spokesman, Marc Lotter, claims that Pence’s words have been misinterpreted when it comes to gay rights and conversion therapy. Lotter claims that a past campaign statement has been misconstrued.
But gay groups are not buying this, as they say that Pence’s record on gay rights speaks for itself. At the 2016 Republican Convention, Pence made “an approving reference to conversion therapy” that many are not ready to dismiss.
But what is conversion therapy? According to Liam Stack, it is a way to “change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity” and get them to accept their current gender.
“The phrases ‘conversion therapy’ and ‘reparative therapy’ refer to discredited psychotherapy methods that aim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Spiritual efforts to accomplish the same goal are sometimes called ‘ex-gay ministry.'”
The American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association both condemn conversion therapy, as do almost all groups of health professionals. Efforts to change one’s sexuality have in the past ranged from psychotherapy to castration, as well as pharmaceutical and electroshock therapy. Rea Carey, the executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, called it “brutal, inhuman psychological and at times physical abuse.”
Lotter says that Pence has only said that funds need to be moved to programs that support safe sex, but Carey disagrees.
“That is very specific language — some might call it a dog whistle — that has been used for decades to very thinly cloak deeply homophobic beliefs. Particularly the phrase ‘seeking to change their sexual behavior,’ to me, is code for conversion therapy.”
PolitiFact says that other politicians object to Trump and Pence’s reported views on LGBT rights, including California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. Newsom says that Pence, Trump, and their followers support moving funds into programs that support conversion therapy.
Newsom’s spokesman points to Pence’s own word to prove the point.
“Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
LGBT supporters believe that until Pence and Trump stand up and say that they do not believe in conversion therapy and have no interest in having taxpayer dollars supporting such programs, they will continue to fight against them.
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