Metro Weekly

Trump joked that Pence wants to “hang” every gay person

President apparently teases Pence for his harsh conservative views on abortion and LGBTQ rights

Mike Pence, Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

While many yearn for Donald Trump to be removed from office, the prospect of Vice President Mike Pence stepping into his shoes isn’t much better.

It’s something those aware of Pence’s extremely conservative views have long been wary of, and it’s been further explored in a New Yorker column by Jane Mayer.

One of the most damning revelations came from a longtime associate of Trump. In a meeting with a legal scholar, Trump allegedly mocked Pence’s right-wing Christian beliefs, such as overturning Roe v. Wade and opposing gay rights.

According to the New Yorker, the scholar pointed out that scrapping the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion would do nothing, as states would enact their own abortion laws.

“You see?” Trump told Pence. “You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.”

The conversation then turned to gay rights. Trump reportedly gestured to Pence and joked, “Don’t ask that guy — he wants to hang them all!”

Pence has a long history of opposing LGBTQ rights. During his time as governor of Indiana, he approved the state’s “religious freedom” law, which condoned discrimination against LGBTQ people. He then tried to backtrack after it led to a massive economic backlash for the state.

While in Congress, between 2001 and 2013, Pence consistently stood against LGBTQ rights. He supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, opposed hate crime laws that included LGBTQ people, and voted against repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, issued a statement denouncing the joke.

“It’s disturbing and sickening that Donald Trump would ‘joke’ about Mike Pence wanting to ‘hang them all’ in reference to LGBTQ people,” Griffin said. “Hate violence is tragically still a fact of life for LGBTQ people across this country, even without Donald Trump and Mike Pence helping to fan the flames. Mike Pence has spent his career attacking LGBTQ people in Congress, in the governor’s mansion, and now in the White House. Donald Trump’s remark lays open the depth of their hostility and animosity toward LGBTQ people, and just how deeply they believe we should be treated as second-class citizens in our own country. That’s not funny, that’s dangerous and un-American.”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.