On several issues, Pence has rocked the boat with controversy, ranging from gay rights, abortion, and even cigarette smoking.
Marriage equality and "societal collapse"
It's no secret that Pence stands against expanding rights for gay and lesbian couples. But his distaste for marriage equality goes even further. While he was in Congress arguing against marriage equality, Pence stated that being gay was a choice, and that "societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family." In short, Pence said that gay and lesbians being able to marry one another would lead to disastrous outcomes in society.
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Donald Trump and Mike Pence on the campaign trail since the RNC
Donald Trump and Mike Pence on the campaign trail since the RNC
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives for a rally at Duplin County Events Center in Kenansville, North Carolina on September 20, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ESTERO, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Germain Arena on September 19, 2016 in Estero, Florida. Trump is locked in a tight race against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in Florida as the November 8th election nears. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the JetCenters of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado on September 17, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0534 -- Pictured: (l-r) Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on September 15, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the Bethel United Methedoist Church on September 14, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 13: U.S. Republican vice presidental nominee Gov. Mike Pence addresses a news conference with House GOP leaders following a conference at Republican headquaters on Capitol Hill September 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. When asked about former vice presidential candidate Speaker Paul Ryan's reluctance to endorse presidential candidate Donald Trump, Pence said that the House Republicans and the campaign agree on a plan for America. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, greets attendees after speaking at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. Any path Trump might take to the presidency inevitably leads through the Rust Belt and industrial Midwest the places the Republican nominee describes as 'rusting and rotting' war zones of manufacturing decline. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) Chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and Executive Managing Director, North America for BGC, Daniel LaVecchia attend Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
AKRON, OH - AUGUST 22: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters at the James A. Rhodes Arena on August 22, 2016 in Akron, Ohio. Trump currently trails Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Ohio, a state which is critical to his election bid. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
FREDERICKSBURG, VA - AUGUST 20: GOP nominee Donald Trump holds a rally in Fredricksburg, VA on August 20, 2016 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage)
US Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters at the Summit Sports and Ice Complex on August 19, 2016 in Diamondale, Michigan. / AFP / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, pauses while speaking during a campaign rally at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. Two days after Trump said that President Barack Obama had founded Islamic State, and a day after he insisted that he meant what he said, the Republican presidential nominee reversed himself on Friday and claimed the statement was nothing more than sarcasm. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, speaks during a campaign rally at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. Two days after Trump said that President Barack Obama had founded Islamic State, and a day after he insisted that he meant what he said, the Republican presidential nominee reversed himself on Friday and claimed the statement was nothing more than sarcasm. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images
SUNRISE, FL - AUGUST 10: Republican presidential candidate Donald J.Trump addresses the audience during a campaign event at BB&T Center on August 10th, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Johnny Louis/WireImage)
WILMINGTON, NC - AUGUST 9: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with supporters during a campaign event at Trask Coliseum on August 9, 2016 in Wilmington, North Carolina. This was TrumpÃs first visit to Southeastern North Carolina since he entered the presidential race. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, is seen on a monitor speaking during an event to discuss his economic plans at the Detroit Economic Club in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. Trump is promising the biggest overhaul to the personal income-tax code since Ronald Reagan, as well as a deep cut in the corporate tax rate. He's also pledging to end excessive regulation and lift restrictions on the nation's energy producers. Photographer: Sean Proctor/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORTLAND, ME - AUGUST 4: Presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with Maine Gov. Paul LePage being introduced at a rally in Merrill Auditorium on Thursday, August 4, 2016. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - JULY 29: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump waves to supporters after his speech at the Gallogly Event Center on the campus of the University of Colorado on July 29, 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Joe Mahoney/Getty Images)
SCRANTON, PA - JULY 27: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of supporters on July 27, 2016 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Trump spoke at the Lackawanna College Student Union Gymnasium. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - JULY 27: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a press conference at Trump National Doral on July 27, 2016 in Doral, Florida. Trump spoke about the Democratic Convention and called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton's deleted e-mails. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, waves to the crowd after addressing the 117th annual VFW National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 26: Republican vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks on at the 117th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States as veterans strive for a photo at the Charlotte Convention Center on July 26, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. One day after Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton faced the same group, Trump promised a revision to health care for veterans. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
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Pence doesn't think cigarette smoking kills
As late as the year 2000, Pence denied that smoking could kill you. "Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill," he wrote in an op-ed at the time.
Pence's views on transgender Americans shouldn't be all-too surprising either, given his already controversial views on marriage equality. Yet that doesn't make them any less alarming. Pence was an early opponent of President Barack Obama's directive mandating that schools allow transgender students to use the restrooms that they identify with. Pence has also indicated that he and President-elect Trump intend to "resolve" the order once they're in office.
Wanted to defund HIV/AIDs funding in favor of "conversion therapy"
Pence's words on LGBTQ issues are controversial enough on their own, but some of his proposals have frightened many within the community as well. During his first run for Congress, Pence suggested that federal money used to fund research on HIV/AIDS should instead be diverted to programs that "provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior."
During Bill Clinton's presidency, a policy of allowing gay soldiers to serve in the military was implemented. The popular name of the policy, "don't ask, don't tell," referenced the way in which gay and lesbian soldiers would be acclimated — as long as they didn't say anything, gays and lesbians would be allowed to serve.
In the years following, it became clear that the policy was an unfair practice, a separate-but-unequal way of dealing with the issue. President Obama signed legislation repealing the practice in 2011, but it didn't come about without its detractors, and once again Pence had something to say.
In 2010, before "don't ask, don't tell" was ended, Pence warned that Obama should keep the policy in place. Pence said the policy had been "a successful compromise" since the 1990s, and that we shouldn't risk the readiness or recruitment of our military in "an effort to advance some liberal domestic social agenda."
No women in the military, either
Pence isn't just against gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces — he's also been critical of women serving. In the late 90s, before he was in Congress, Pence argued that "the hard truth of our experiment with gender integration [in the military] is that is has been an almost complete disaster for the military and for many of the individual women involved."
He even challenged institutions for suggesting otherwise, including some pretty harsh criticism aimed at Disney's animated feature Mulan. "I suspect that some mischievous liberal at Disney assumes that Mulan's story will cause a quiet change in the next generation's attitude about women in combat," he wrote, "and they just might be right."
Fought against Planned Parenthood and reproductive rights
Most conservative leaders are against any funding to Planned Parenthood, the organization that aims to assist men and women across the country with reproductive health services, including abortion. But Pence took it to another level entirely.
In another attempt to make abortion less accessible, Pence authored a law that tried to limit how and when federal funds for the practice could be used. Under federal law, the only exceptions for which abortion can be performed with federal funds is in the case of rape or incest. So Pence attempted to change the definition of rape to include only what he described as "forcible rape."
That definition meant that federal dollars couldn't fund abortions in other instances of rape (for example, where a victim is drugged). Many called Pence out for this action, and the measure was later dropped.
Pence did his best to label the law as defending religious freedom. "The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action," Pence said when he signed the bill.