Brian Sims: Mike Pence’s Anti-LGBT Views Would Further Divide Us

With all of the hatred swirling, it is even more imperative that we elect a president that will fight for our community and equality for all.

Brian Sims, Mike Pence

Brian Sims, Mike Pence

This is an opinion piece by Pennsylvania Representative Brian Sims.

No Gays Allowed.”

Governor Mike Pence proudly signed into law legislation that allowed business to refuse service or discriminated against LGBT Americans. Yes — the Mike Pence who is Donald Trump’s running mate and the most extreme pick for vice president in a generation.

As Governor, Mike Pence used his leadership to alienate businesses and divide communities with his spiteful actions against the LGBT community when he spearheaded this discriminatory legislation. The law allowed people to continue spreading hatred, deny services and discriminate against LGBT Americans. 

But Pence’s actions didn’t only hurt the LGBT community. It hurt the entire Indiana economy and caused the state to lose an estimated $60 million. Big names and brands such as NASCAR, the Gap, and Apple all spoke out against Indiana, and a broad coalition of other businesses, faith communities and organizations took a stand against Pence, his leadership, and this hateful law. By legalizing discrimination, Pence successfully alienated businesses, governments and partners, and in turn cost his state millions.

Welcome to the Trump-Pence GOP, which continues this divisiveness.

LGBT individuals are facing discrimination every day. It is the president’s job to bring us together — not tear our country apart. We cannot support a candidate for president that encourages this tolerance for hatred.

From banning Muslims from our country to promoting anti-Semitic images pushed by neo-Nazis online, Trump is alienating people from every background and demographic. And now with Pence on the ticket, Trump is only reiterating and confirming his intentions to further divide people and tear our country apart.

Unfortunately, hate crimes against the LGBT community happen far too often in cities and neighborhoods across the country, including right here in our backyard in Philadelphia. What occurred in Orlando was another tragic reminder that there continues to be an immense amount of hatred and discrimination towards a community that exhibits so much love in this world.

With all of the hatred swirling, it is even more imperative that we elect a president that will fight for our community and equality for all. Here in Philadelphia, we’ll be supporting a candidate for president that will fight for every community. Hillary Clinton is the fighter we need. She understands our challenges and is deeply concerned by all of the divisiveness that exists in our country right now. She will fight to implement the agenda we need to bring us together.

Hillary Clinton has built her life’s work on the notion that we are stronger when we are together. She understands that the true American Dream is big enough and open for everyone regardless of background. As Philadelphians, we know that to be true.

As President, Clinton will change that and fight to pass the Equality Act to ensure that all members of the LGBT community are protected from discrimination in every facet of their lives, including education, employment, and federal assistance. Because of states like Mike Pence’s Indiana, we still have progress to make to ensure LGBT Americans are protected against discrimination.

A lot of hatred exists in our communities and in our neighborhoods, and we cannot elect a president and vice president who routinely alienate and divide Americans and instill fear for me and my community.