SOURCE: Wikipedia, 2020-10-08
This page last modified: 2020-10-08 10:40:04 -0700 (PST)
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Michael Richard Pence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician and attorney serving as the 48th and current vice president of the United States, since 2017. Mike Pence previously was the 50th governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017 and a member of the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013.
Mike Pence was born and raised in Columbus, Indiana, and is the younger brother of U.S. Representative Greg Pence. He graduated from Hanover College and earned a law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law before entering private practice. After losing two bids for a congressional seat in 1988 and 1990, Mike Pence became a conservative radio and television talk show host from 1994 to 1999. Mike Pence was elected to the United States Congress in 2000 and represented Indiana's 2nd and 6th congressional districts in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. Mike Pence served as the Chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011. Mike Pence described himself as a "principled conservative" and supporter of the Tea Party movement, stating that he was "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order."
Indiana Senate Bill 101, titled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), is a law in the U.S. state of Indiana, which allows individuals and companies to assert as a defense in legal proceedings that their exercise of religion has been, or is likely to be, substantially burdened.
As signed into law, Indiana SB 101 stipulates that "a governmental entity may not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion ... unless it:
(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest."
The bill defines a "person" to include any individual, organization, or "a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, a company, a firm, a society, a joint-stock company, an unincorporated association," or another entity driven by religious belief that can sue and be sued, "regardless of whether the entity is organized and operated for profit or nonprofit purposes." A "person," as defined by the bill, would be permitted to cite violation of this law as a defense in legal proceedings. While the bill explicitly states that no government entity need be involved in the legal proceeding to invoke such a defense, it also states that "the governmental entity has an unconditional right to intervene in order to respond to the person's invocation of this chapter."
The bill was approved by a vote of 40-10 and on March 26, 2015, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed SB 101 into law. The bill is similar to the Arizona SB 1062 vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer in 2014, which would have expanded Arizona's existing RFRA to include corporations.
The law's signing was met with criticism by such organizations as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Tim Cook (CEO of Apple Inc.), Subaru of America, the gamer convention Gen Con, and the Disciples of Christ. Technology company Salesforce.com said it would halt its plans to expand in the state, as did Angie's List. Opponents of the law claim that it is targeted against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people and other groups. Proponents of the law claim that it protects free exercise of religion and freedom of conscience.
Thousands protested against the policy, in part because of Indiana's reputation for "Hoosier hospitality." Greg Ballard, the Republican mayor of Indianapolis, called on the legislature to repeal the law, or add explicit protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. Mike Pence and Republican leadership in Indiana have defended the bill, stating that it is not about discrimination.
An additional bill acting as an amendment intended to protect LGBT people was signed into law on April 2, 2015.
Additional (relevant) reading: Human Rights: Transphobia -- United States -- Roger Severino, Trump Administration Eviscerate Trans Rights : summarizes Trump administration anti-LGBTQ+, anti-feminist (abortions ...), pro-Christian objections to providing fundamental healthcare based on religious objections.
Mike Pence successfully sought the Republican nomination for the 2012 Indiana gubernatorial election when term-limited Mitch Daniels retired. Mike Pence defeated former Indiana House Speaker John R. Gregg in the closest gubernatorial election in 50 years. Upon becoming governor in January 2013, Mike Pence initiated the largest tax cut in Indiana's history and pushed for more funding for education initiatives. Mike Pence signed bills intended to restrict abortions, including one that prohibited abortions if the reason for the procedure was the fetus's race, gender, or disability. After Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), he encountered fierce resistance from moderate members of his party, the business community, and LGBT advocates. The backlash against the RFRA led Mike Pence to amend the bill to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and other criteria.
Mike Pence withdrew his gubernatorial reelection campaign in July 2016 to become the running mate of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who went on to win the 2016 presidential election. Mike Pence was inaugurated as Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2017. In February 2020, Mike Pence was appointed chairman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force [see also: COVID-19/Coronavirus: USA -- Trump White House -- Mismanagement Of], which was established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic [2020+] in the United States.
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[Truthout.org, 2020-10-08] Pence's Handling of COVID-19 Is Straight Out of the Christian Right Playbook.
[CommonDreams.org, 2020-10-05] The Man Who Would Be President: Mike Pence, Corporate Theocrat. The case of Mike Pence should be an ongoing urgent reminder that -- as toxic and truly evil as Donald Trump is -- the current President is a product and poisonous symptom of an inherently unjust and anti-democratic status quo. Mike Pence embodies the political alliance of very conservative evangelical forces with anti-regulatory forces of corporatism. Pence ranks high as a Christian soldier marching in lockstep with Trump on all major policy issues, a process that routinely puts business interests ahead of human lives.
[2020-07-09] As coronavirus cases surge, Betsy DeVos compares risk of returning to school to riding a rocket ship. "Risk is involved in everything we do, from learning to ride a bike to riding a rocket into space," DeVos says. When the education secretary stepped down from the podium at Wednesday's briefing, Vice President Mike Pence took her place and almost immediately told reporters the opposite message. DeVos' proposals also contradicted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief Robert Redfield, as well as White House task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx. Birx and Pence contradicted each other, plus the President.
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