Sunday, October 08, 2017

Is Pence "on deck" to become an anti-LGBT president?

Karen Ocamb of the Los Angeles Blade examines the risk to the LGBTQ community of the fact that Vice President Mike Pence is “on deck” (her words) to take over as president of the United States should Trump be forced out, link here .The article was also run front page Oct 6 in the Washington Blade, but the company is dividing its online articles between “the Nats and the Dodgers”.

Ocamb looks at whether Pence behaves like a “Dominionist” (or “Christian Supremacist”), a philosophy that says that evangelical Christianity has an obligation to enter political institutions and spread Christianity through policy. From a moral level, this would correspond to supposed Muslim intentions with Sharia law, an idea that gay conservative Milo Yiannopoulos often writes about.

Pence’s statements in the past are disturbing, as he has supported conversion therapy as an answer to AIDS (although not since 2000), and as late as around 2000 still insisted that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service”, the original 1981 policy before “don’t ask don’t tell” (i.e., “do ask, don’t tell”).  Pence may claim he has moderated his views (as does Sessions), and that most of his objections are about the idea of singling out LGBTQ (gay and trans differently) as groups needing special protection from oppression. That is how he seems to view the “religious freedom” bills. After all, he can say, look at al the gays who do spectacularly well.

Pence would likely be a lot steadier on other national security issues, like handling North Korea much more carefully than Trump.  There’s no particular reason to think that he would try to undo the military DADT repeal or civilian security clearance policy – we hope.

Pence appears to derive his beliefs from others’ readings of scripture, rather than from “rational” policy thinking. For example, my family was not all that religious, but I think many of my issues (like in 1961 with the college expulsion) stem from the fact that I’m an only child and would fail to give my parents a lineage.  People often believe that everyone needs to share responsibility for other generations in a family (look at eldercare). 

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