Residents living in the neighborhood where Vice President-elect Mike Pence is currently living have placed LGBTQ rainbow flags on their windows, porches, and lawns as a form of protest.
The Huffington Post reports that Mike Pence is currently living in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Neighbors in the area have begun displaying rainbow flags on their houses and lawns in order to send a "respectful message" to Pence, who is known for his anti-LGBTQ stance on issues surrounding gay rights.
“This is one way that I can show my disagreement,” said Ilse Heintzen, who lives on Pence’s block. “I have no idea what [the vice president-elect] will think about it, but I hope he will change his mind.”
"When I think of Mike Pence, the first thing I think about is his stance on the LGBT community," said Joanna Pratt, a resident of Chevy Chase for the last 35 years. "What bothers me most are his statements that he supports conversion therapy, which is completely outrageous. I find it abhorrent."
According to CNN, Pence supported anti-gay conversion therapy during his 2000 congressional run, and said that HIV funding should be redirected to such programs:
Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.
Pence also insinuated that gay couples would bring about "societal collapse" in a scathing article he published which claimed that "30 percent of homosexuals admitted to having 'showered' in the urine of others.” Pence has also taken tough stances against gay marriage as well as the addition of sexual orientation to the federal hate crime statute.
The current protest comes on the heels of Pence’s visit to Broadway to check out a performance of Hamilton. Prior to the show, the cast addressed him in what many refer to as a controversial speech which touched on Pence’s views toward the LGBTQ community. Pence also received "boos" from many in the crowd.
Pratt claims that to her knowledge, there are no gay residents on Pence’s block. However, a gay tenant is renting one of the apartments there. When that individual heard of the protest, he sent a note of appreciation to those involved.