Mike Pence is an abomination to the office of vice president. His political platform resembles Donald Trump’s at first glance, but upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that Pence’s opinions are even more horrifying than Trump’s.

Pence’s views on homosexuality are far more dangerous than the president’s. When Pence ran for Congress in 2001, he presented a bill that sought to defund “HIV programs and [use] the money instead for ex-gay conversion camps.” Over one million Americans live with HIV, and many from the working class already struggle to afford care, making these programs necessary for their survival.

Not only is the idea of defunding HIV programs appalling, but allocating that funding to “cure” gay people through medical therapy would be preposterous and would perpetuate the detrimental claim that homosexuality is a choice. The views that Vice President Pence brings to the White House are a step backwards not just for the LGBTQ+ community but for the nation as a whole.

Pence’s anti-gay rhetoric has gone so far as to allow violence towards gender and sexual minorities. He opposed expanding the definition of a hate crime to include sexual orientation, stating that preventing an attack on a homosexual person would have a “chilling effect on religious expression.” In 2009, Pence vigorously opposed a bill that would have helped decriminalize homosexuality in other countries; he said the bill promoted “a set of values that are at odds with the majority of the American people.” To the contrary, justifying violence against minorities clashes with basic American values. Americans have come to accept gay marriage, with the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage serving as a landmark of our country’s progress.

Vice President Pence and President Trump will change America just as they promised, and as a result they will hinder all progress.