Mike Pence on Civil Rights

Republian nominee for Vice President; Governor of Indiana; former Representative (IN-6)


Battle against radical gender ideology for religious freedom

Pence lambasted the Linn-Mar school district in eastern Iowa for a policy that allowed transgender students in seventh grade or older to request accommodations without parental consent. He decried the idea that students would be punished for misgendering a transgender peer or saying that God created males and females. "The battle against radical gender ideology is a battle for religious freedom, and it's a battle we must fight," said Pence, as the audience cheered.
Source: Des Moines Register on 2023 Faith & Freedom Coalition , Apr 22, 2023

Trump condemns neo-Nazis and has Jewish grandchildren

The President condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists and has done so repeatedly. You're concerned that he doesn't condemn neo-Nazis. President Trump has Jewish grandchildren. His daughter and son-in-law are Jewish. This is a President who respects and cherishes all of the American people.
Source: 2020 Vice-Presidential Debate in Utah , Oct 7, 2020

Criticized 1992 Civil Rights Act as being about "quotas"

In an op-ed Mike Pence wrote, "Whether it was Bush's cynical reversal of the 'no new taxes' pledge or his vacillation on the 1992 Civil Rights (quota) Act, he has managed to alienate a sizable portion of the Reagan Republican coalition. Dan Quayle has managed to keep his distance from these objectionable acts and has engendered real credibility." [Daily Journal, 8/13/92]

"Pence said that adequate civil rights protections are already in place and that the new legislation would require racial hiring quotas. 'I would sustain the veto,' he said. 'It is not because I am a racist. I am sensitive to small business America, and I don't believe that businesses should be forced to proceed on the racist tendencies that (hiring) quotas are comprised." [Daily Journal 9/29/90]

Source: Trump Research Book on Mike Pence , Sep 22, 2020

Refused to say "Black lives matter"

On a historic Juneteenth, as protests continue to rage across America, Vice President Mike Pence was asked if he would say those words, 'Black lives matter,' and three times declined - instead saying 'all lives matter in a very real sense.' The Vice President, when pressed as to why he would not say the phrase, said, 'Well, I don't accept the fact, Brian, that there's a segment of American society that disagrees in the preciousness and importance of every human life.'" [6 ABC, 6/20/20]
Source: Trump Research Book on Mike Pence , Sep 22, 2020

No evidence of hate crimes over gender identity

According to The Indianapolis Star, "Pence, who has said he believes that being gay is a 'lifestyle choice,' also worried that a bill to protect gays and lesbians from workplace discrimination could be used to discriminate against Christians." [Indianapolis Star, 4/12/15]

"This bill designates in particular gender identity for federally protected status. Without, I might add, any evidence of any hate crimes occurring against individuals for gender identity." [Office of Rep. Pence, 4/29/09]"

Source: FactCheck on 2020 Trump Research Book , Sep 22, 2020

Changing definition of marriage is abolishing marriage

[Columbus Republic, 9/22/00]: "Pence said he opposed gay marriages and hate-crimes legislation. He said that marriage between man and woman is the nucleus of American society and 'should be elevated, held higher than, esteemed more under the law than any other relationship.'"

[States News Service, 3/31/08]: "If we change the definition of marriage you're really abolishing marriage. I don't think we really want to see a society without that strong centerpiece of a heterosexual marriage," Pence said.

Source: FactCheck on 2020 Trump Research Book , Sep 22, 2020

OpEd: RFRA seen as allowing discrimination against gays

[Pence's 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act] quickly went national. It was the top story on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update." The NCAA signaled it might drop Indiana as a venue for major events, and even NASCAR said that it was "disappointed."

A beleaguered looking Pence appeared on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, trying to reassure a national audience that the bill was not about discrimination. The interview was a disaster. When Stephanopoulos asked, "Do you think it should be legal in the state of Indiana to discriminate against gays or lesbians?" Pence paused, and winced. "George." he began, then sighed.

"It's a yes or no question!" Stephanopoulos pressed. No matter how many times he was asked, Pence would not simply say that the answer was no. (Which means he probably believed the answer was yes, but at least he knew not to admit it.) One national columnist later described it as "very possibly one of the worst appearances by a governor in television history."

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p.212 , Feb 12, 2019

OpEd: supports conversion therapy & anti-LGBTQ extremism

Mike Pence has made virulent anti-LGBTQ activism the cornerstone of his political career. HRC's comprehensive "The Real Mike Pence" campaign includes a report, microsite and series of videos that shine a spotlight on Pence's decades-long crusade against LGBTQ equality, and inside-the-White House efforts leading the Trump-Pence administration's attacks on LGBTQ people, including those who bravely serve our nation in the military. It lays out his long record of support for the abusive practice of so-called "conversion therapy;" his relentless pursuit of a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people; his attempts to block hate crime legislation and funding for HIV and AIDS prevention; and his efforts to undermine access to health and reproductive care essential to LGBTQ people. He also keeps busy with his extremist agenda by working to undermine science, health, transparency, education, justice and public safety.
Source: HRC.org on 2018 Trump Administration , Aug 28, 2018

No place in our administration for LGBTQ discrimination

Q: President Trump decided this week to let stand President Obama's executive order on LGBT rights. And it prompted questions from social conservatives.

PENCE: Throughout the campaign, President Trump made it clear that discrimination would have no place in our administration. He was the very first Republican nominee to mention the LGBTQ community at our Republican National Convention and was applauded for it. And I was there applauding with him.

Source: ABC This Week 2017 interview by George Stephanopoulos , Jan 15, 2017

RFRA Fix: ensure that religious freedom doesn't discriminate

Pence made national headlines in early 2015 when he signed into law the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," which limited the legal actions that could be taken against an individual or business for asserting their religious beliefs.

The law sparked widespread outrage. Opponents contended that it would give license to religious conservatives to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. In response, several major events and corporations--including Salesforce.com and the NCAA--threatened to limit business ventures in the state or boycott it altogether.

Pence adamantly defended the RFRA legislation and refused to say whether it allowed for discrimination, which led to extensive questioning of his underlying motives. So much so that he quietly signed a subsequent piece of legislation--dubbed the "RFRA Fix"--that clarified that the law did not allow businesses to discriminate based on a customer's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Source: Rollcall.com on 2016 vice-presidential hopefuls , Sep 19, 2016

Pro-business environment better for wages than equal pay

Hoosier women earn about 73 cents for every dollar men make for the same work, and the poverty rate for women and girls in Indiana is nearly 17 percent. Mike Pence says he believes the way to address income disparity is to promote economic growth. "Creating an environment that encourages more investment, more job opportunities for Hoosiers is the best pathway forward toward increasing personal income for men and women in Indiana," he says.
Source: Howey politics on 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race , Jul 15, 2016

Opposes pay equity; close wage gap by growing economy

Pence said he wanted women to make every bit as much as men, and said the way to close Indiana's wage gap was through growing the economy. In this legislative session, House Democrats offered an amendment creating a commission to study pay disparity, but it was blocked by Republicans. Governor Mike Pence says he believes the way to address income disparity is to promote economic growth: "Creating an environment that encourages more investment, more job opportunities for Hoosiers is the best pathway forward toward increasing personal income for men and women in Indiana," he says. [Howey Politics, 4/9/2014]
Source: INDems.org & Howey politics: 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race , Apr 15, 2016

Civil rights must be balanced with religious freedom

Should full civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity be extended? No one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love, or what they believe. But Hoosiers also cherish faith and the freedom to live out their faith and I will not support any bill that diminishes the religious freedom of Hoosiers or that interferes with the Constitutional rights of our citizens to live out their beliefs in worship, service or work.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Indiana legislature , Jan 12, 2016

Listen to the merits of debate on LGBT rights

Civil rights expansion: This is the elephant on the table. All sides are digging in. This creates a situation where either Gov. Pence, Speaker Brian Bosma or Senate President David Long will have to take the lead. Pence is playing his cards close to the vest. He has repeatedly said that he will listen to the "merits" of the coming, noisy debate as Freedom Indiana and the Indiana Pastors Alliance will hold dueling demonstrations during legislative Organization Day in November.

This is a policy and political gauntlet for Gov. Pence. He will have to be adroit and communicate well, or he faces the prospect of being a one-term governor. It's time for statewide non-discrimination protections for LGBT Hoosiers!

Source: Kokomo Perspective on 2016 Indiana Gubernatorial race , Oct 24, 2015

Religious Freedom Act is not about LGBT discrimination

The most hot-button issue of all during the 2015 General Assembly, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, was signed in March. Proponents of the bill said it was designed to keep local and state laws from "substantially burdening" the deeply-held religious principles of individuals, businesses or religious institutions. Those against the bill felt it opened a Pandora's box for discrimination against minorities, especially the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) community.

"This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it," Pence said at the time. "In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved. For more than 20 years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation's anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana."

Source: Kokomo Tribune on Indiana Voting Records for bill SB101 , Sep 24, 2015

Future of conservatism demands traditional marriage

The future of conservatism demands that we stand for the traditional definition of marriage. Marriage was ordained by God and instituted in law. It is the glue of the American family and the safest harbor to raise children. Conservatives must defend traditional marriage by passing the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Source: Speech at 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 8, 2008

Voted against expansion of hate-crime protection

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to extend hate-crime protection to people who are victimized because of their sexuality. But the most immediate effect may be to set up another veto showdown between Democrats and President Bush. By 237 to 180, the House voted to cover crimes spurred by a victim's "gender, sexual orientation, gender identity" or disability under the hate-crime designation, which currently applies to people who are attacked because of their race, religion, color or national origin. Pence called the bill "unnecessary and bad public policy." While he finds racism and sexism "abhorrent," Mr. Pence said, the bill's language is so broad that it could encroach on free speech.
Source: New York Times, "Hate Crime," By David Stout , May 4, 2007

Supports anti-flag desecration amendment.

Pence co-sponsored a Constitutional Amendment:

Supports granting Congress power to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HJR36 on Mar 13, 2001

Require "Privacy Impact Statement" on new federal rules.

Pence co-sponsored requiring "Privacy Impact Statement" on new federal rules

SPONSOR`S INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT: It is clear that this bill`s many cosponsors do not agree on every issue. The same can be said of the bill`s noncongressional supporters, which include groups ranging from the National Rifle Association to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The sphere of privacy, which Justice Brandeis eloquently described as the ``right to be let alone,`` is not only rapidly diminishing, it is increasingly penetrable. The Federal Agency Protection of Privacy Act takes the first--necessary--step toward protecting the privacy of information collected by the federal government, by requiring that rules noticed for public comment by federal agencies be accompanied by an assessment of the rule`s impact on personal privacy interests, including the extent to which the proposed rule provides notice of the collection of personally identifiable information, what information will be obtained, and how this informational will be collected, protected, maintained, used and disclosed.

I want to emphasize H.R. 4561 will not unduly burden regulators nor will it hinder law enforcement. This bill will apply the best antiseptic--sunshine--to the federal rulemaking process by securing the public`s right to know about how rules will affect their personal privacy.


LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Passed House on a voice vote; sent to Senate on Oct. 8, 2002; never called to vote in Senate.

Source: Federal Agency Protection of Privacy Act (H.R.4561) 02-HR4561 on Apr 24, 2002

Rated 7% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record.

Pence scores 7% by the ACLU on civil rights issues

We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. If the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everybody’s rights are imperiled.

Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization`s preferred position.

Source: ACLU website 02n-ACLU on Dec 31, 2002

Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance.

Pence scores 0% by the HRC on gay rights

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 HRC scores as follows:

About the HRC (from their website, www.hrc.org):

The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of more than 700,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where GLBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

Ever since its founding in 1980, HRC has led the way in promoting fairness for GLBT Americans. HRC is a bipartisan organization that works to advance equality based on sexual orientation and gender expression and identity.

Source: HRC website 06n-HRC on Dec 31, 2006

Rated 22% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance.

Pence scores 22% by the NAACP on affirmative action

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 NAACP scores as follows:

About the NAACP (from their website, www.naacp.org):

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has worked over the years to support and promote our country`s civil rights agenda. Since its founding in 1909, the NAACP has worked tirelessly to end racial discrimination while also ensuring the political, social, and economic equality of all people. The Association will continue this mission through its policy initiatives and advocacy programs at the local, state, and national levels. From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this great organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice, fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. For nearly one hundred years, it has been the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that has saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society.

Source: NAACP website 06n-NAACP on Dec 31, 2006

Amend Constitution to define traditional marriage.

Pence co-sponsored amending Constitution to define traditional marriage

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission by the Congress:<

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

Related bills: H.J.RES.22, H.J.RES.74, H.J.RES.89

Source: Marriage Protection Amendment (S.J.RES.43) 08-SJR43 on Jun 25, 2008

Other candidates on Civil Rights: Mike Pence on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)

2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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