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Thursday, June 4, 2015

"To whom it may concern..."

Indiana Governor Mike Pence, having tarnished the state's reputation to an incalculable level, is adding some new stain and calling it "historic patina":

The conservative Republican Indiana governor penned a letter for Indy Pride participants, to be shared with locals, visitors coming from out of town, and from out of state for the LGBT Pride month celebration.

But Gov. Pence just couldn't bring himself to mention LGBT people.

Instead, the letter reads like a tourism promotion – which it is, in part – rather than an honest, sincere welcome.

Pence has been forced to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to repair the Hoosier brand image after signing his disastrous and discriminatory "religious freedom" bill into law in April. That law was designed to allow businesses and individuals to cite a deeply-held religious belief to refuse service to LGBT people.

Now that he has an opportunity to mend fences, he's wholly squandered it.
Take a look for yourself:
On behalf of the people of Indiana, welcome to Indianapolis. I am confident that those of you who traveled from out of state will come to know our famous Hoosier Hospitality.
Our state's capital city is well known as a destination for conventions, festivals, business meetings and other events. In fact, a recent USA TODAY Reader's Choice digital poll ranked Indianapolis as the Best Convention City in the country.
Like so many other organizations who continue to use Indianapolis as their destination of choice, I am confident you will come to know a vibrant city.
During your stay, please explore the many entertainment options Indianapolis has to offer such as our museums, restaurants, theaters, historic landmarks, White River State Park, and the Indianapolis Zoo, just to name a few.
So, once again, welcome to Indiana. We hope you enjoy your stay.
Mike Pence
Bilerico founder and Indiana native Bil Browning offered a few thoughts.
Is it any wonder that adding nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people "is not a priority of this administration?" Hell, Governor Pence can't even be bothered to say the name of our community. He has words for out of state visitors, but nothing for the locals he supposedly represents.
Indiana NBC affiliate WTHR compared Gov. Pence's letter to those written by other Hoosier Republicans.

For example, in 2005, GOP Governor Mitch Daniels' Pride celebration letter began "Dear Friends," not, "Greetings."

"This celebration seeks to foster understanding and acceptance of individuals without regard to gender, gender identity, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any of the differences that too often divide us, in a state that urgently needs to confront its challenges with urgency of purpose," Daniels wrote.

That, and more, which Indy Pride posted on Facebook, from a Republican governor a decade ago.

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