While Trump's credibility was deservedly and relentless battered during the first day of impeachment hearings, his vice president, Mike Pence, was reminding folks of how less he thinks of the LGBTQ community:
Vice President Mike Pence, in a speech intended to honor National Adoption Month, extolled on Tuesday a proposed Trump administration rule that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse child placement in LGBTQ homes.
Pence made the comments at the Department of Health & Human Services in D.C., which was holding a celebration in promotion of adoption with top Trump administration officials, including Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar.
Telling the audience the Trump administration “understand[s] the role that communities of faith play in adoption,” Pence invoked the proposal, which was unveiled late last month to the consternation of advocates for LGBTQ families.
“We’ve reversed the rule implemented in the closing days of the last administration that jeopardized the ability of faith-based providers to serve those in need by penalizing them for their deeply held religious beliefs,” Pence said. “We will stand for the freedom of religion and we will stand with faith-based organizations to support adoption.”
The Washington Blade also pointed out that Pence said he was "proud" of Trump's rule.
You will notice that Pence said nothing about how this is unfair to the LGBTQ community. It was deliberate on his part. According to Alex Bollinger of LGBTQNation:
Pence’s comments highlight how conservatives frame discrimination in adoption. There are currently 444,000 children in the foster care system in the U.S. and over 123,000 of them are up for adoption. It’s hard for conservatives to just say that they’re against LGBTQ people adopting because that’s not just discriminatory against potential parents, but comes across as cruel to the kids.
This is why Pence and other conservatives focus on the agencies that want to discriminate. In their narrative, the reason these children don’t have homes isn’t a lack of families willing to take them in, but a lack of agencies willing to place them with the abundance of families available for them.
Of course, HHS grants could just be sent to agencies that don’t discriminate. The money could help non-discriminatory agencies expand, open new offices, and hire staff, and federal money would be used more effectively to help kids find homes. If the problem is the number of agencies that can work with families, then that’s a problem that money can solve. But if the issue is the availability of families, then HHS’s rule change is unspeakably cruel.
Pence also didn't address another crucial problem with Trump's rule - the fact that it would allow tax dollars to go to entities which discriminate against LGBTQ taxpayers. As long as this fact isn't brought up, Pence and company can go on with the false narrative of how the theft of LGBTQ tax dollars is actually "religious freedom."
It's not surprising. Pence is a homophobic bigot who thinks that his religious beliefs is justification to debase and stigmatize the LGBTQ community. Remember that when he was governor of Indiana, he refused to answer when asked eight times whether or not he opposed anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
Since Pence has a problem saying whether or not the LGBTQ community should be protected from discrimination, we shouldn't be surprised that he also thinks that our tax dollars actually belong to those who would discriminate against us.