Pence should support legal protections for gay people | News Coverage from USA

Pence should support legal protections for gay people

WASHINGTON – The faith-based debate on homosexuality between 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg and Vice President Mike Pence continues.

In a taped appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” scheduled to air Friday, Buttigieg responded to Pence’s accusation that he criticized the vice president’s faith when he said the “Mike Pences” of the world should understand that he didn’t choose to be gay.

‘“I’m not critical of his faith; I’m critical of bad policies,” Buttigieg said. “I don’t have a problem with religion. I’m religious, too. I have a problem with religion being used as a justification to harm people and especially in the LGBTQ community.”

He noted that there’s no federal law that expressly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Buttigieg said he’s “not interested in feuding” with Pence. 

“But if he wanted to clear this up,” he continued, “he could come out today and say he’s changed his mind, that it shouldn’t be legal to discriminate against anybody in this country for who they are.”

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Buttigieg has long been critical of Pence’s support – when he was Indiana’s governor –of a “religious freedom” law that critics viewed as a license to discriminate against gay people.

His critique became more personal and pointed Sunday in a speech to a group that supports LGBTQ candidates.

Buttigieg said his marriage last year to his husband, Chasten, made him a better human being.

“And, yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God,” he said. 

Asked by CNBC’s Joe Kernen on Wednesday if his position on marriage equality had evolved in the past two decades as public opinion has shifted, Pence said: “My family and I have a view of marriage that’s informed by our faith.”

“And we stand by that,” Pence continued. “But that doesn’t mean that we’re critical of anyone else who has a different point of view.”

Buttigieg, who talks often about his faith on the campaign trail, has said he wants a “more inclusive and more humane vision of faith than what this vice president represents.”

“When I’m in church, the scripture I hear is about taking care of the least among us,” he told DeGeneres, who is also gay. “It’s a message that is fundamentally about love, love and humility, humbling yourself before God and putting other people before you.”


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