Pence visits Focus on Family amid change for religious right

Pence called Focus on the Family a "cornerstone of American life for so many Americans" and called its founder, James Dobson, on whose radio program he appeared during the presidential campaign, a "friend and mentor to me".

"Later this summer when we repeal and replace Obamacare, we're going to defund Planned Parenthood once and for all", he added, to a standing ovation. Pence has a long anti-LGBT record, both as a congressman and as governor of IN, where he signed into law a "religious freedom" bill that could have been used as a legal excuse for discrimination. Focus on the Family also offers marriage counseling and is staunchly opposed to homosexuality. In March, aWashington Post profile of his wife, Karen Pence, sparked fervent debate about gender roles by revealing 2002 statements the vice president made to The Hill claiming he never remains in a room alone with a woman or attends events where alcohol is served unless his wife is present.

According to a news advisory from Peterson Air Force Base, after Pence's appearance at Focus, to mark its 40th anniversary, the nation's second in command will drop in at Schriever Air Force Base, located east of Colorado Springs. "Today, we are here to say no and to advocate for our right to access resources, to healthcare, and help for our community".

As the Associated Press reports, Pence also used his remarks to urge religious conservatives to get involved in the ongoing debate over health care in the United States.

Focus on the Family firmly opposes abortion, same-sex relationships, divorce, and sex outside of marriage. About a dozen protesters donned red robes and white bonnets to welcome the vice president - a reference to "The Handsmaid's Tale", the dystopian novel and TV show in which women are treated as property. He's been with Colorado Springs police for eight years.

"The vice president is a man of faith", Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, said in his introduction.

For many evangelicals, Pence represents a champion of their values in Washington.

Pence congratulated the organization on 40 years of work, and promised them that "you have an unwavering ally in President Donald Trump".

  • Joanne Flowers