It's not difficult to find image memes indicating that Mike Pence, our future vice-president for 2017-2020, advocates gay conversion therapy paid for by the government.

Scaremongering meme

Did he actually make that statement, or one reasonably interpreted as such? The source of the statement seems to be come down to an amendment to the Ryan White Care Act:

Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says that Pence "advocated for diverting taxpayer dollars to so-called conversion therapy." and Politifact rated that statement as true based on the text of the Ryan White Care Act. Snopes, on the other hand, rated it as "Mixture", saying that the text did not support the assertion.

Is there a quote from Mike Pence stating that he is in favor of conversion therapy for homosexuals?

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    Quite honestly it sounds like Pence wanted those who had HIV or AIDs to wear a condom. – K Dog Nov 10 '16 at 20:08
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    Or simply stop having all of this sex with strangers... – Sean Duggan Nov 10 '16 at 20:20
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    When you read the whole "Strengthening the American Family" section and apply a bit of close reading, and maybe a touch of their notably anti-gay track record, it's pretty easy to arrive at this conclusion. I too would be curious to know if there are any more-explicit quotes on the subject, or related legislature supported, but such statements are rarely so explicit. – Alexander O'Mara Nov 10 '16 at 22:29
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    It looks like it's the same quote I mentioned above. Unless you know of something else on there to "close read"? So far, it all seems to come down to various people saying "... well, they don't say it, but we all know how that kind of person thinks, right?" – Sean Duggan Nov 10 '16 at 23:50
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    @KDog no, it really doesn't sound like he only wants to advocate for condom use. There are no organizations which celebrate not wearing a condom. So when Pence talks about "celebrating and encouraging the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus" in a context which also argues against the rights of LGBT people, it is not a reach to conclude that he is talking about gay sex, and that that is the sexual behavior which should be changed. – tim Nov 11 '16 at 20:06
up vote 14 down vote accepted

No.

Some are misconstruing the phrase "change their sexual behavior" in the sentence "Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior" found on his 2000 website.

The true meaning can be ascertained from Pence's 2 February 2008 speech at Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

...

Currently within PEPFAR [President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief], these pivotal provisions exist in forms such as the ABC Model, which stands for Abstinence, Be faithful, and Consistent and Correct Condom use. It is absolutely essential that we preserve these prevention methods that focus on behavioral change. Working with faith-based and non-governmental organizations on the local level, in particular through the ABC Model, has produced undeniable results.

....

It is not enough to send billions of dollars to Africa without sending values-based techniques that work to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS by changing behavior.

...

Last week when the President called for continued support for this very important initiative in his final State of the Union address, he insisted that Congress must "maintain the principles that have changed behavior and made this program successful." The current draft of this reauthorization is no longer the program envisioned by the President and embraced by Congress. Under the new bill, PEPFAR would no longer be a program focused solely on prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Instead, it would be converted to a program that, with increased funding, could take lives through abortion rather than save lives through prevention and medication. PEPFAR is a successful program that is under attack.

...

(emphasis added)

Mike Pence used similar terminology in a 24 July 2008 press release:

...We cannot send billions of dollars to Africa without sending values-based safeguards and techniques that work to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS by changing behavior.

Within the current version the Global AIDS bill that the Senate recently passed, these pivotal provisions exist in the form of a requirement to provide balanced funding for prevention activities for sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS,'and to ensure that abstinence and faithfulness programs are implemented and funded in a meaningful and equitable way.' This is enforced by requiring the Global AIDS Coordinator to report to the appropriate Congressional committee if funding for abstinence, delay of sexual debut, monogamy, or fidelity programs drops bellow [sic] 50 percent of the total sexual prevention program funding.

It was essential that we preserve these prevention methods that focus on behavioral change, and that we work with faith-based and non-governmental organizations at the local level, in particular through the ABC Model, which has produced undeniable results. ...

(emphasis added)

For more information on the ABC model see Abstinence, be faithful, use a condom

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    I'm having a very hard time seeing these as talking about the same thing in the context of the surrounding text in the year 2000. What kind of "institutions" would he be talking about that "focus on behavioral change"? – Alexander O'Mara Nov 11 '16 at 3:54
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    He also used similar language in Congress while discussing funding for of AIDS prevention programs, asking to fund ABC programs in 2003 and 2008. (Well, he advocates strongly in favor of the A and B, less so the C, but same "getting people to change their sexual behavior" idea.) – ff524 Nov 11 '16 at 4:09
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    This doesn't really contradict the meme. Supporting one piece of legislation does not necessarily imply that he opposes another. Politicians have also been known to change their minds, especially after 16 years. – Jørgen Fogh Nov 11 '16 at 9:12
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    Just to clarify; I believe the meme is probably a hoax. This post is just not enough to refute it. – Jørgen Fogh Nov 11 '16 at 9:13
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    @JørgenFogh "Supporting one piece of legislation does not necessarily imply that he opposes another." that's true, but there wasn't any legislation or proposed legislation involving gay conversion therapy. He is talking about the domestic (Ryan White Care Act) and corresponding global version. The government website presents them together "Ryan White & Global HIV/AIDS programs" hab.hrsa.gov – DavePhD Nov 11 '16 at 13:33

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