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Last week, President Donald Trump decided to keep former President Obama’s executive order protecting federal contractors from anti-LGBTQ discrimination. However, in an interview Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence did not directly rule out the chances of an anti-LGBTQ executive order in the future.
On ABC’s This Week, Pence reiterated Trump’s promise to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which would allow religious institutions to openly advocate for and donate to politicians—and which would also leave the LGBTQ community vulnerable to campaigns that’d destroy their rights and protections, including same-sex marriage.
When asked if the repeal itself would be enough or if the president would instate “a new executive order on religious liberty,” Pence said, “I think that’ll be the purview of the president to determine whether any of that’s necessary, but I will tell you for our part, the focus of this administration will continue to be to have a safer America, to have a more prosperous America, and to continue to advance the president’s agenda, both on Capitol Hill and through executive action and carry that message all across the country.”
Pence, who has a long-standing anti-LGBTQ voting record, signed a similar religious freedom bill into law as the governor of Indiana.
Since becoming vice president, Pence has mostly kept quiet about his earlier LGBTQ stances. Earlier in the ABC interview, Pence said, “I think throughout the campaign, President Trump made it clear that discrimination would have no place in our administration. I mean, he was the very first Republican nominee to mention the LGBTQ community at our Republican National Convention and was applauded for it. And I was there applauding with him.”
Marissa Higgins is the editor of Green Matters. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Slate, Salon, NPR, and elsewhere.