Earlier this week, a high school student announced that she is hosting a pride festival in Mike Pence’s home town of Columbus, Indiana, in part to draw attention to Pence’s anti-LGBT views.
“I thought since everyone else is like ‘Mike Pence is from here,’ typically it is a conservative community but the LGBT community is here too,” organizer Erin Bailey told LGBTQ Nation. “I wanted to show them, ‘You’re not alone. There’s others like us.’”
“Vice President Pence commends Erin Bailey for her activism and engagement in the civic process,” Pence’s Press Secretary Alyssa Farah said. “As a proud Hoosier and Columbus native, he’s heartened to see young people from his hometown getting involved in the political process.”
Saying nice words about Bailey’s “engagement with the civic process” is hardly a ringing endorsement of pride. If anything, it sounds like how his daughter Charlotte described protests of her father as “what freedom looks like.”
Pence has been trying to draw attention away from his anti-LGBT record while neither apologizing what he’s done nor changing his views. For example, instead of saying that he opposes conversion therapy, he has just denied that he ever supported government funding for it, despite the written record of that support from his 2000 congressional campaign.
More recently, he played a key role in getting Donald Trump to revive his transgender military ban, working behind closed doors on a report that sources say was published with a Department of Defense seal on it even though it was written by anti-LGBT hate groups.
Instead of a few hollow words for Bailey, Pence could work on his image on LGBT issues by actually supporting equality.