President Donald Trump has repeatedly mocked his vice president’s hateful religious ideology, even joking that Mike Pence wants to “hang” all gay people, according to The New Yorker.
The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reports that Trump has openly mocked Pence’s anti-LGBT views on multiple occasions.
At a meeting about hot-button conservative issues, the topic moved to gay rights.
“Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!” Trump reportedly exclaimed as he pointed at Pence.
They were also told of possible backlash if they are able to stack the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
They were told that if the decision is overturned, as Pence wants, individual states would still legalize abortion.
“You see?” Trump reportedly said to Pence. “You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.”
Trump also mocked Pence to his staffers on the campaign trail.
“Did Mike make you pray?” Trump asked aides as they left meetings with the then-governor of Indiana.
Trump and the Religious Right have had an uneasy marriage since he won the Republican nomination, and Trump’s remarks show that he views his religious supporters as rubes he can pander to.
Of course, the Religious Right sees Trump as a means to an end. For evangelicals, Trump is a way to stack the Supreme Court with anti-abortion, anti-LGBT conservatives to overturn decades of social progress.
Picking Mike Pence as veep was clearly a signal to the Religious Right that Trump will go along with the ruse, despite the fact he jokes about him wanting to “hang” all the gay people.
Pence has consistently backed anti-LGBT hate as policy. In 2006, he spoke as the head of the conservative Republican Study Committee to call for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman, claiming that gay marriage will lead to “societal collapse.”
Perhaps Pence’s most abhorrent view is his support for controversial “conversion therapy,” a practice so cruel and ineffective that he now claims he never supported it.
His 2000 congressional campaign website called for using money intended to help HIV/AIDS patients on conversion therapy instead.
The site said that Congress has to “ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
Despite the obvious support for organizations that “seek to change sexual behavior,” Pence’s spokesperson says it’s “patently false” that the vice president “supported or advocated” conversion therapy.
The Republican Party has actually endorsed the practice for the first time in their party platform, calling for the “right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children.”
Reince Priebus, formerly the head of the Republican National Committee, insisted that the language did not refer to conversion therapy.
But Gregory Angelo, the president of the LGBT conservative Log Cabin Republicans, questioned what else the stipulation could refer to.
“There are only two types of therapies for minors that are notable and that are controversial at present,” he said. “One is ex-gay conversion therapy and the other is transgender hormone therapy, and I hardly believe that Tony Perkins was putting a plank in the Republican Party platform endorsing the rights of parents to provide their children with transgender hormone therapy.”