All aboard the GOP Train for a trip back in time with Engineer Trump and Conductor Pence



D’Anne WitkowskiWas anyone really surprised that Donald Trump picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his co-captain for the most terrifying boat ride since the Titanic?

Pence may be best known for signing Indiana’s “just say no to gays” law, the intention of which was to give anti-gay bigots free reign to discriminate against LGBT people so long as their discrimination stemmed from a deeply held religious belief. In other words, if a baker doesn’t want to make a cake for some kind of homo wedding, he just needs to point out that “God hates fags,” and he’s in the clear. As God intended.

This law gave anti-gay bigots major boners, which they presumably showed off during the secret signing session Pence held for them.

After the business community freaked out, Pence signed a little fix to the bill to make it less anti-gay, but it was basically window dressing. Ah, but Pence’s anti-gay record is much longer than just some silly little discrimination law that brought scorn heaped upon his state and resulted in a loss of millions of dollars.

In 2006 as a senator, Pence supported amending the U.S. Constitution to ban marriage equality. He said letting same-sex couples marry would bring upon “societal collapse.”

Clearly he was foreshadowing a Trump-Pence presidential run.

He was also against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, claiming in 2007, “By extending the reach of federal law to cover sexual orientation, employment discrimination protections, in effect, can wage war on the free exercise of religion in the workplace.”

Because, you know, protecting LGBT people from discrimination is totally comparable to the horrors of war.

And speaking of war, Pence didn’t want any homos in the military because they would try to touch other privates’ privates. Oh, and speaking of the uncontrollable sexual perversions of gays, Pence thought that money for HIV/AIDS would be much better spent on anti-gay conversion therapy. Because if you stop all those gays from being gay it’ll stop this gay disease.

Oh, he also was against needle exchange programs. Because he clearly was an HIV/AIDS expert.

Remember when Donald Trump claimed that the gays loved him? That he was actually a better champion of gay rights than Hillary Clinton? Wasn’t true then, and even less true now.

“Donald Trump just doubled down on his agenda of hate and discrimination by choosing the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Mike Pence for his ticket,” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement.

But hey, doubling down on bad decisions is right in Trump’s wheelhouse, whether in business or politics.

The Republican platform this year is one of most anti-gay in history. Clearly they are hoping that when voters go to the polls they will hate gays more than they hate Trump. Hey, it worked in the past.

And the past — where women couldn’t get abortions, where brown people couldn’t vote, where gays couldn’t marry — is what the Republicans love best.

D’Anne Witkowski is a freelance writer and poet and a writing teacher at the Universtiy of Michigan. She writes the weekly “Creep of the Week” column for Q Syndicate.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 22, 2016.