Mike Pence And His Bigoted Past Deserved To Be Walked Out On
James Doubek recounts how a large group of students walked out of the University of Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony. The students are in protest of Vice President Mike Pence’s policies.
Video from the event shows people applauding followed by loud boos as the vice president began a commencement address at the school. This occured while dozens of students began to file out from the floor of the stadium.
A large group of students just walked out of Notre Dame’s commencement during VP Mike Pence’s address. #ND2017 pic.twitter.com/g3dCuqPbXg
— WNDU (@WNDU) May 21, 2017
Mike Pence Is A Bigot
Pence was the governor of Indiana from 2013 until January 2017. This was shortly before he assumed the vice presidency. He has a record as governor, and before that as an Indiana congressional representative, of strong social conservatism. He also has a strong opposition to abortion rights and LGBT rights. Pence set off a large backlash in early 2015 when he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This gave Indiana businesses “who object to same-sex couples … a legal right to deny them services,” as the Two-Way reported. He later signed a revised version of the law.
As NPR’s Meg Anderson noted, Pence has said same-sex marriage could cause “societal collapse.”
In early 2016 “Pence signed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. The law bans abortions due to fetal abnormalities and also requires aborted fetuses. Those from miscarriage to be buried or cremated,” NPR reported last year.
Protest organizers said in a statement that in addition to Pence’s “target[ing] the civil rights protections of members of LBGT+ community,” they were protesting that Pence had “rejected the Syrian refugee resettlement program, supported an unconstitutional ban of religious minorities, and fought against sanctuary cities.”
The students and the rest of the protesters know exactly where Mike Pence stands on a variety of issues. This was an opportunity to say NO to him and to those who think like him, and to let people know that not all Hoosiers approve of Pence. That is not intolerance, and that is not seeking a safe zone. That is standing up for what you believe in. I salute all of the protesters, but especially all of the students who walked out of the ceremony.