The new neighbors of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence are welcoming the vice president-elect to their neighborhood in Northwest Washington, with special decorations dedicated specifically to him: gay pride flags.
Several houses on Pence’s block in Chevy Chase, have put up rainbow pride flags since the vice president-elect moved in, according to the local ABC affiliate, WJLA-TV. Pence is living in the neighborhood temporarily until he is sworn in as vice president, when he will move into the official vice presidential residence on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory.
Pence has a history of advocating positions opposed by the gay community, both nationally and in his home state. As a congressman in 2006, he supported a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman, saying in a speech that gay marriage would bring about “societal collapse.” He also opposed the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibited service members from serving openly as gay.
As governor of Indiana, he signed the controversial “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” that opponents said would have allowed discrimination against LGBT individuals in his state. Under pressure, Pence later signed legislation that amended the bill to prevent discrimination.
Ilse Heintzen, a woman who lives on Pence’s block, told WJLA that her decision to hang a pride flag is “a respectful message showing, in my case, my disagreement with some of his thinking.” The TV station reported that there are roughly six pride flags on display on Pence’s block and that more will go up in the coming days.
“I have no idea what he will think about, but I hope he will change his mind,” Heintzen said. “This is one way that I can show my disagreement.”
— Tim Barber (@ABC7TimBarber) December 1, 2016