The openly gay US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is bashing Mayor Pete Buttigieg for attacking Mike Pence’s LGBTQ record.
Grenell, one of the only openly gay officials to have been appointed under Trump, spoke out to defend VP Pence in an interview with (you guessed it) Fox News saying,
“Mayor Pete has been pushing this hate hoax along the lines of Jussie Smollett for a very long time now, several weeks. When Mike Pence was governor, there was total silence [from Buttigieg]. It’s ironic that right about now when he’s starting his fundraising apparatus to run for president that he comes up with this idea and this attack.
Mike and Karen are great people, they’re godly people, they’re followers of Christ. They don’t have hate in their heart for anyone. They know my partner, they have accepted us. You asked me do we agree philosophically on every single issue? No.
When Mayor Pete came out, the vice president complimented him and said he holds him in high regard. The vice president [has] said nothing but positive things about Mayor Pete. I think this is a total hate hoax and I think it’s outrageous.”
As Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg did speak out against Indiana’s then Governor Pence signing anti-LGBTQ legislation in 2015.
Pence has long record of LGBTQ opposition. In 2000, in an apparent reference to LGBTQ inclusive groups. Pence called for HIV/AIDS prevention funding to be drained from
“organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviours that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus.”
Instead Pence, seeming to endorse conversion therapy, he called for funding for
“institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behaviour.”
As Governor of Indiana, Pence signed the controversial ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’, a law which allows religious people and businesses to cite their conscience as a defense in legal disputes.
From 2013 to 2017, his cuts to HIV testing and ban on needle exchanges led to the worst outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the state’s history, sparking an intervention from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Human Rights Campaign report looked in-depth at Pence’s record on LGBTQ rights as a candidate, as Governor of Indiana and as vice president, and found he has demonstrated a “consistent” approach to dismantling protections for LGBTQ people.
This March, Pence defended his wife Karen for teaching at a school that discriminates against gay children.
(Photos, Wikipedia, YouTube; via Pink News)