National Govt & Politics

Posted: January 19, 2017

LGBTQ activists hold 'Queer Dance Party' outside Mike Pence's house

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: Vice President-elect Mike Pence delivers remarks at the Chairman's Global Dinner, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.The invitation-only black-tie event is a chance for Trump to introduce himself and members of his cabinet to foreign diplomats. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
Pool
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: Vice President-elect Mike Pence delivers remarks at the Chairman's Global Dinner, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.The invitation-only black-tie event is a chance for Trump to introduce himself and members of his cabinet to foreign diplomats. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

By Theresa Seiger

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

CHEVY CHASE, Md. —

With biodegradable glitter, rainbow flags and glow sticks in hand, about 200 protesters boogied their way to Vice President-elect Mike Pence's rented home in the Washington, D.C., area on Wednesday night to protest his stance on LGBTQ rights.

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The protest, dubbed the "Queer Dance Party at Mike Pence's House," was organized by the groups WERK for Peace and DisruptJ20.

"Dance is so integral to the queer community as a form of self-expression and a form of asserting our power and our beauty and our love for one another," organizer Firas Nasr, 23, told The Washington Post. "We want to send a strong message to Pence that we're a united queer community. We've always stood united. There's always space to dance."

The group converged on the Friendship Heights Metro Station around 6 p.m. As the pulsing beats of gay icons including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Madonna and Lady Gaga filled the air, protesters shimmied toward Pence's house in the Chevy Chase neighborhood, covering about 1.2 miles, with frequent dance breaks, CNN reported.

The protest was centered on Pence's record on gay and transgender rights. He has consistently opposed same-sex marriage, linking the unions to "societal collapse" in a 2006 speech. He opposed the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." He voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007, which would have banned sexual orientation-based discrimination.

"By extending the reach of federal law to cover sexual orientation, employment discrimination protections, in effect, can wage war on the free exercise of religion in the workplace," he said at the time. "We must stand for the right of every American to practice their faith according to the dictates of their conscience, whether it be in the public square or in the workplace."

Pence's Chevy Chase neighbors have flown hundreds of rainbow flags in silent support of gay rights since he arrived in town. Many watched Wednesday night's protest. Some carried snacks, according to CNN.

"I love this," 76-year-old Chevy Chase resident Mary Ann Carmody told The Washington Post. "I love the world. It's wonderful to see people on the street like this. We're lucky we can do this."

A few Donald Trump supporters were also seen near Pence's home, according to CNN, but the dancers did not interact with them.

It was not immediately clear whether Pence knew about the protest. At the time of the dance party, which started to disband around 8:30 p.m., Pence was hosting the vice president-elect's inaugural dinner across town.

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