Mike Pence Advocates For Government Funded Conversion Therapy

Mike Pence Advocates For Government Funded Conversion Therapy August 2, 2016

Mike Pence wants taxpayers to pay for so-called gay conversion therapy.

Pence, the Republican nominee for vice president, is an anti-science, anti-women, anti-LGBT, radical religious extremist.

Pence is a rabid homophobe who wants to deny civil civil rights to LGBT people, and wants taxpayer money to pay for gay conversion therapy, the despicable attempt to force a child or young adult to reverse their sexual orientation or gender identity, often to satisfy the religious superstition and bigotry of ignorant parents.

As reported by PolitiFact, during his first successful run for Congress in 2000, Pence advocated for government funding of gay conversion therapy on his campaign website, under a section called Strengthening the American Family:

Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.

In other words, Pence wants taxpayers to pay for what many rational observers believe is child abuse.

Human Rights Campaign reports on the horrors of the discredited gay conversion therapy:

So-called “conversion therapy,” sometimes known as “reparative therapy,” is a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Such practices have been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades, but due to continuing discrimination and societal bias against LGBTQ people, some practitioners continue to conduct conversion therapy. Minors are especially vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.

Currently gay conversion therapy is banned in five states including California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont and New Jersey.

Last year President Barack Obama defended LGBT youth by supporting a ban on conversion therapy. The official statement from the White House reads in part:

This Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors… overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm.

Yet despite the evidence, and despite the fact that gay conversion therapy is child abuse, Republicans continue to support the practice.

Earlier this month, at the GOP convention, the Republican Party approved a despicable anti-gay platform that, among other things, advocates going back to defining marriage as between one man and woman, supports adoption agencies turning away same-sex couples, and endorses the abusive and controversial practice of gay conversion therapy.

As for Pence continuing to support public funding for conversion therapy in 2016, PolitiFact reports:

Our research found no evidence Pence has walked back his stance on public funding for conversion therapy. His spokesman did not respond with information about Pence’s current position.

In fact, Mike Pence has a long history of demeaning gays and promoting discrimination against the LGBT community. In the past, Pence has claimed that gay couples signal “societal collapse;” opposed a law that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace; opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; and, more recently, he rejected the Obama administration directive on transgender bathrooms.

Bottom line: Gay conversion therapy is child abuse. While Pence’s anti-gay bigotry is deplorable, it is right in line with the overt anti-gay bigotry of the Republican party in 2016.

Mike Pence (Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Mike Pence (Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
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