The Christian conservative Family
Research Council (FRC) has defended Vice President Mike Pence's past
opposition to LGBT rights.
FRC made the comments in response to a
CNN story outlining Pence's history of opposing LGBT rights. CNN ran
the story after a Pence aide argued that Pence could not be anti-gay
because he had lunch with Leo Varadkar, the openly gay prime minister
of Ireland, and his partner, Dr. Matthew Barrett, during a recent
diplomatic visit to Ireland.
“For all of you who still think our
@VP is anti-gay, I point you to his and the @SecondLady's schedule
tomorrow where they will join Taoiseach @LeoVaradkar and his partner
Dr. Matthew Barrett for lunch in Ireland,” White House deputy press
secretary Judd Deere tweeted.
Buttigieg: Mike Pence's lunch with gay Irish PM doesn't mean he isn't
story highlighted Pence's opposition in the early 90s to an
effort by Lafayette, Indiana to ban discrimination based on sexual
“Pence argued in the 1990s that,
unlike protections for African Americans, homosexuals choose or learn
to be gay,” CNN wrote.
“It represents a very bad move in
public policy,” Pence said at the time. “It opens up from a legal
standpoint … a Pandora's Box of legal rights and legal difficulties
once you identify homosexuals as a discrete and insular minority.”
In his response to CNN's story, FRC's
Peter Sprigg said that Pence's opposition to LGBT rights aligned with
his group's views.
“News broke yesterday that in 1993,
Vice President Mike Pence – then with the Indiana Policy Review
Foundation, a conservative think tank – opposed an effort to add
'sexual orientation' as a protected category in a Lafayette, Indiana
human relations ordinance. The biggest surprise here may be that
anyone found this discovery – in an old issue of the Lafayette
Journal and Courier – to be the least bit newsworthy,” Sprigg
“Most of the arguments Pence offered
in 1993 are the same arguments that we at Family Research Council and
other social conservatives make today in opposing radical LGBT rights
legislation like the proposed federal Equality Act. What would be
news is if Mike Pence had ever taken any other position,” he said.
FRC has been labeled a “hate group”
by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) over its anti-LGBT
Pence calls ban on rainbow flags at U.S. embassies “right