Pence promises Trump will revoke LGBT protections, appoint far-right judges

Donald Trump. Mike Pence

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence sat down with James Dobson of Focus on the Family for his “Family Talk” radio show recently, where he assured that Donald Trump would revoke LGBTQ protections and appoint far-right judges like the late Antonin Scalia.

Pence made clear his and Trump’s objection to the Obama administration’s directive to public schools requiring they allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

“Washington has no business intruding on the operation of our local schools,” Pence told Dobson. “It’s just one more example of the heavy hand and liberal agenda of this administration working its way into the purview of the states and the people.”

“Those decisions should be made and can be made at the local level,” he continued.

Pence said he believes this is part of a trend of government overreach.

“We have a long tradition in this country of accommodating religious belief and respecting religious belief, but under this administration you’ve seen the heavy hand of government,” he said.

He assured conservative listeners that Trump would appoint far-right judges like Antonin Scalia, who was staunchly anti-LGBTQ.

“With the passing of the late and great Antonin Scalia, literally the balance of the court, on many of these very closely decided questions, is on the ballot this year. And what I can tell you is Donald Trump is absolutely committed to appointing justices to the Supreme Court, and to all of our courts, in the tradition of the late and great Antonin Scalia,” Pence said.

When asked about Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) laws, and why they were not mentioned on the Pence, Trump website, he stated their support.

“I can assure you that a Trump, Pence administration is going to uphold the Constitution of the United States. The First Amendment of the Constitution is very clear, Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” said Pence, who signed an RFRA law as Indiana Governor, allowing for discrimination against LGBTQ people as long as the person doing the discriminating claimed a deeply held religious belief motivated their actions.

After mounting pressure, he eventually signed a revised version that prohibited denying services to someone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, but as LGBTQ advocates pointed out, the revised measure still provided an exemption to churches and affiliated schools, along with nonprofit religious organizations.

As we reported recently, what can be found on the campaign’s website is their support for another law that would allow for discrimination against LGBTQ people, the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA).

Pence ends the interview, which will be broadcast Wednesday, by calling Dobson an “inspiration to our little family.”

You can listen to the full interview here.

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