Vice President Mike Pence will be delivering a keynote speech today to anti-LGBTQ organization Focus on the Family in honor of its 40 year anniversary.
The event will take place in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the group is based.
Pence appeared on Focus on the Family founder James Dobson’s radio program during the campaign to promise that if Donald Trump were elected president, their administration would rescind protections for transgender students, as they did, and that he would appoint far-right judges. That promise has also been kept.
More recently, Focus on the Family was invited to a Father’s Day event hosted by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education building in Washington, D.C., along with another anti-LGBTQ group, the Family Research Council.
“Mike Pence has spent his career attacking and undermining LGBTQ people and our families, and now, as Vice President he’s continuing the crusade,” said JoDee Winterhof, Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs in a statement. “This is an extreme organization that promotes the dangerous and abusive practice of ‘conversion therapy,’ lobbies against allowing LGBTQ people to adopt children who need homes, and opposes anti-bullying efforts in schools. These views are not just antiquated — they are dangerous and wrong. And for the Vice President of the United States to lend credibility to them is beyond shocking.”
Pence will be met by protesters, including some dressed in the red dresses and white bonnets featured in The Handmaid’s Tale, reports Colorado Politics.
The dystopian novel, turned Hulu series, tells the story of a fundamentalist society that has overthrown the U.S. government and subjugates women.
“It’s our way of making kind of a shocking statement,” said Ryan Barry of Unite Colorado Springs, one of the groups putting together the protest rally.
“It’s a way of showing that Focus on the Family and Mike Pence stand for very restrictive, ‘traditional’ gender roles, opposition to choice for women and anti-LGBTQ positions,” Barry added. “This is the way they see Focus, this backwards organization that’s promoting stuff that’s far beyond what most of us would consider applicable for modern society.”
You can watch the event via webcast if you are willing to provide them with your email address.