The recent presidential election in the United States has left the country more divided than it was before the election. Donald Trump and Mike Pence are two extremely worrisome figures, and the fact the pair will be taking control of the oval office in just a few weeks is both alarming and sad. People not only throughout the United States, but those all over the world as well, have criticized Trump and Pence for their political ideals and subsequent agendas. Trump has certainly taken the brunt of the criticisms, but Pence is starting to emerge into the spotlight as a figure with as much or more vitriolic rhetoric.
Pence was recently visiting a Broadway musical on a fairly normal Friday evening, and he most likely didn’t consider the idea that such an event would reach the ears of mainstream society. However, when someone with the position of Pence advocates the disturbing practices and false science that Pence seems to worship, they are essentially inviting retaliation in some form. Pence should have realized that visiting a Broadway production after revealing his horrific stance on the LGBT community would not be the best idea.
One of the actors in the production of “Hamilton”, a man named Brandon Victor Dixon, stopped the applause at the end of the show Friday evening in order to send a direct message to Pence, who had a seat in the upper balcony. Dixon used the platform to express the fear that many Americans feel at his appointment to the position of vice president, and he asked that Pence would work on behalf of everyone in the country, and not just those with whom he agrees politically and socially. Dixon reiterated that every American deserves to be protected by their government.
In what might be one of the most ironic turn of events in history, Trump supporters and the president-elect himself denounced the message as inappropriate and whiny. Trump even went so far as to call the theater a ‘safe space’, despite his repeated comments that such spaces shouldn’t exist in society. The sad truth of the situation is that the reaction from Trump and his supporters is actually undermining the focus of the message, which was the Pence sees homosexual Americans as a threat that can be quelled.
To put Pence’s views into perspective, he once attempted to use taxpayer dollars to pay for gay conversion therapies. Such ‘therapies’ are supposedly able to reverse a person’s homosexual orientation, which has been scientifically proven as false. The practice is so destructive to the psychology of homosexual youth that it has been banned in five states, yet Pence thinks it is the answer.
Alt-right groups and extreme right-wing Christian organizations still believe in gay conversion therapy despite the enormous amount of evidence that debunks the ludicrous idea. Of course, as with all horrible things, there are those with political power who feel such grotesque practices are acceptable and necessary.
Republicans are by far the group most likely to believe in this garbage, and delegates from the Republican National Convention recently voted on a platform that would allow parents to decide on any and all treatments and therapies for underage children. While the platform did not specifically mention gay conversion therapy, the language is clear that such therapy would be permissible with parental consent. Critics of the platform say it is directly designed to influence and nurture the idea that a child’s sexual orientation can be altered with outside ‘treatment’.
Pence has famously supported any and all institutions that offer gay conversion therapy, and he even went so far as to say that taxpayer money should be funneled into those organizations to help them with their asinine goals. There is no evidence that Pence has reversed his own position since being named the next vice president.