Graduates at the University of Notre Dame’s commencement speech walked out as Vice President Mike Pence stood at the podium. Now, a Notre Dame faculty member had this to say about the students’ decision to leave:
While serving at the governor of Indiana, Mike Pence regularly attacked LGBT rights, attempts to destroy social welfare programs, found against immigrants, and publicly spoke out against Planned Parenthood.
You may recall that in March 2015, Pence introduced a bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT Americans under the guise of religious liberty.
Pence’s attacks on the LGBT community led the NCAA to pull tournament from the state. Many businesses also warned that Indiana would face an extreme backlash in terms of job creation and continued operations in the region.
“During his time as governor of the state of Indiana and now as a Vice-President, Pence has targeted the civil rights protections of members of [the] LGBT+ community, rejected the Syrian refugee resettlement program, supported an unconstitutional ban of religious minorities, and fought against sanctuary cities. All of these policies have marginalized our vulnerable sisters and brothers for their religion, skin color, or sexual orientation.”The hashtag #WalkOutND was used to promote the protest on social media. This came on the heels of over 1,700 ND alumni signing a letter expressing their disappointment at Pence being selected as commencement speaker.
Bryan Ricketts, the main organizer of the walkout, said that what Pence stands for is “a very legitimate thing for people to be scared.”
“Some students are undocumented and some parents are driving to see their kid graduate because they can’t get on a plane.”
The University of Notre Dame’s PR department has not released a statement about the tweet at this time.
Regardless of the University’s stance, it’s humbling to see so many bright young Americans standing up for their fellow citizens by taking a stand against the borderline illegal activities of the Republican party.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.