Blog Commentary -(ENEWSPF)- Have to say, I’m very proud of these young graduates at my Alma Mater today. A group of Notre Dame grads walked out today as former Indiana governor and current Vice President Mike Pence began his address. This at the commencement exercises in Notre Dame stadium.
Amen to all of them.
One of the grads walked out with a rainbow flag draped as a cape.
Good for all of them.
Why walk out on Mike Pence?
Some students at the Catholic university plan to walk out of the speech as part of a protest against Pence and his policies, which they say target marginalized people on the basis of their religion, skin color or sexual orientation, according to the student activist group We Stand For.
Luis Miranda, a co-organizer of the walkout, said Pence, as Indiana governor and as vice president, targeted vulnerable people with his policies. Catholic values promote standing up for the poor and marginalized, so he plans to stand up on Sunday, literally.
Prior to Pence’s address, valedictorian C.J. Pine gave a politically charged address in which he called for equal rights and religious freedom for Muslims and all faiths.
“Our generation must stand against the scapegoating of Muslims,” he said.
Pine also appeared to take aim at Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“If we are going to build walls between American students and international students, then I am skewered on the fence,” Pine said.
And take this from the New York Times, by way of Pence’s history with one group:
As governor of Indiana, Mr. Pence opposed gay marriage and signed into law a bill that made it legal for businesses to cite religious freedom when refusing service to gay and transgender people, for example a bakery that refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.
As a member of Congress, Mr. Pence voted against employment nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people and also voted against the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
His opposition to gay rights goes back at least to his first congressional campaign, in 2000, when he opposed same-sex marriage and the nondiscrimination laws that protected L.G.B.T. people.
He also argued for public funding of conversion therapy and said federal funding for H.I.V./AIDS treatment should be renewed only if the government could certify that no money went to “organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the H.I.V. virus,” according to an archived version of his campaign website.
Personally, I could not be more proud of this group of 150+ who walked out on the vice president.
Gary Kopycinski, ND ’85