Wanting to send their new temporary neighbor Vice President-elect Mike Pence a message, some residents in the swanky Chevy Chase area of Washington, D.C. have hung gay pride flags.
Pence is renting a house in the Northwest Quadrant of the nation’s capital until he is sworn in at the end of January and moves into his official residence, the U.S Naval Observatory near Georgetown.
Local ABC news affiliate WJLA interviewed one of Pence’s new neighbors, who stated she had chosen this way to express her opposition to the Indiana governor’s views regarding LGBT issues.
“A respectful message showing, in my case, my disagreement with some of his thinking,” Ilse Heintzen said Wednesday.
— The Hill (@thehill) December 1, 2016
About a half dozen neighbors have hung the flags, but more plan to do so, according to CNN.
As reported by Western Journalism, Pence garnered significant national attention in the spring of 2015, when he signed Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law.
Currently over 20 states and the federal government have similar legislation in place; however, supporters of LGBT issues made Indiana the battleground over the matter with major corporations and organizations like Apple, Levi Strauss, Marriott, and NCAA censuring the law’s passage and some threatening boycotts.
Opponents felt the law gave Christians and other religious business owners the potential to have legal protection to discriminate against those who identify as a member of the LGBT community.
Pence denied the law would have that effect: a RFRA defense has never successfully been raised in that manner.
The law requires the state to show a “compelling” interest before overriding the deeply held religious beliefs of its citizens.
To quell the firestorm, the Indiana state legislature passed and Pence signed into law a “fix” to Indiana’s RFRA law, which specifically denies businesses or individuals any legal recourse or defense if, even for deeply held religious reasons, they “refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, goods, employment, housing or public accommodation to any member of the public based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.”
Pence is an evangelical Christian who supports traditional marriage and backed an amendment to Indiana’s Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, which did not pass in 2014, CNN reported.
More recently the governor voiced opposition to the Obama administration’s directive regarding public schools providing transgender bathrooms.
“The federal government has not business getting involved in issues of this nature,” Pence said in a statement in May. “I am confident that parents, teachers and administrators will continue to resolve these matters without federal mandates and in a manner that reflects the common sense and compassion of our state.”
What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.