Mike Pence / Gage Skidmore

October 9, 2016; PBS NewsHour, “The Rundown”

As we all face the numerous calls for Trump to resign and Mike Pence to take his place on the presidential campaign trail, NPQ thought it might be worthwhile to review our nonprofit newswire coverage of the Indiana governor, most of which occurred before he was selected by Trump as his running mate. This coverage is confined to issues we were covering in the operating environment of nonprofits.

  • Pence helped incite one of the largest boycotts of a state we have ever seen by signing into law the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act in March of 2015. The act would have sanctioned discrimination against LGBTQ people based on personal religious belief. At the time, Pence said, in a statement, “This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it.” By the beginning of April, after a number of corporations promised to pull their business out of the state, the legislature and Pence amended some components of the act to stem the bleeding.
  • A more recent example of Pence’s tendency to promote discriminatory policies is in his attempted refusal to accept Syrian refugees in the state of Indiana. Pence was one of around thirty GOP governors who made this stand where there was no clear legal ground to do so, and two courts have since found his positions on the matter to be constitutionally discriminatory.
  • Finally, Pence’s record on abortion is one of the more obsessive among a number of activist conservative governors as can be read here and here. Beyond attempting to block Planned Parenthood funding, he also attempted to pass a law that would have banned abortions based solely on a fetus’s disability or genetic anomaly. A federal court in this case also found the measure constituted an illegal limit on a woman’s long-established right to choice.

—Ruth McCambridge