According to the New York Times:
Mr. Pence has been particularly dogged by accusations that he is a supporter of “conversion therapy,” the practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It has been discredited by the medical establishment and denounced by gay and transgender groups.
Mr. Pence’s spokesman, Marc Lotter, denied to The Times over the weekend that the vice president-elect supports the practice, saying a past campaign statement had been misinterpreted.
Pence is directly responsible for his spokesman. If the spokesman lies, Pence lies. In 2000 at Mike Pence for Congress: The Pence Agenda for the 107th Congress[via Archive.org] Pence wrote:
Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.
Congress should oppose any effort to recognize
homosexual’s <sic> as a “discreet <sic> and insular minority” entitled to the protection
of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic
And, for good measure there is this obnoxia:
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.
According to the Times:
Mr. Pence had not addressed speculation about his support for conversion therapy until last weekend, when Mr. Lotter told The Times it was “patently false” that Mr. Pence “supported or advocated” the practice.
Mr. Lotter said the vice president-elect had been calling for federal funds to “be directed to groups that promoted safe sexual practices” during his 2000 congressional campaign, and he said it was a “mischaracterization” to see the statement as a reference to conversion therapy.
Just how fucking stupid does Lotter think we are? There is absolutely no way that Pence’s statement can be interpreted to mean anything other than support for conversion therapy. None!
For good measure, in a 2010 interview with MSNBC’s Chris Jansing:
I don’t believe we should be using the American military
our armed forces to advance a liberal social agenda. Or, to engage in
the practice of domestic politics. Look, what we ought to be focused
on–is first, we ought to wait and listen to what that survey of our
soldiers says. But, number two, we ought to learn the lessons of history
… (Chris Jansing interrupts)
Chris Jansing: And if it does say what the indication has been–that
the vast majority of service members and their families don’t have a
problem with it?
Mike Pence: Well, I would still have a problem with it because there
is no question that to mainstream homosexuality within the active duty
military would have an impact on unit cohesion, an impact on readiness,
umm, that’s been established and written about and chronicled for many,
many years and I believe we need to continue to keep the focus of our
military on the mission of the military. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was a
compromise back in the early ’90s. It’s been a successful compromise. We
ought to leave it like it is and not run the risk of impacting the
readiness of our military–or recruitment for our military–because of an
effort to advance some liberal, domestic, social agenda.
Mike Pence is a bigot. We cannot allow him to attempt to clean up his record of obvious animus. Apologies are due in contrast to obfuscation.