Mike Pence Supports Electroshock Gay Conversion Therapy-Fiction!

Mike Pence Supports Electroshock Gay Conversion Therapy-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
Mike Pence has supported electroshock gay conversion therapy that would “electrocute the gay” out of teenagers.
The Truth:
Mike Pence has been a longtime vocal opponent of gay rights, but he vice president-elect never went on the record with support for electroshock gay conversion therapy.
Those rumors appear to stem from a website that Pence launched in 2000 to support his first bid for a congressional seat. The site, which can now be found archived by the Wayback Machine, made what could be a reference to gay conversion therapy under the “Strengthening the American Family” section of “The Pence Agenda”:

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.

The phrase “gay conversion therapy” — let alone “electroshock gay conversion therapy” — does not to appear in the section. And the section refers generally to changing “sexual behavior,” not an individual’s sexuality — but people have reasonably concluded that Pence was referring to gay people because the three sections preceding the one in question addressed LGBT rights:

Congress should pass the Child Custody Protection Act to require parental notification prior to the delivery of any contraceptive drugs or devices to minor children by any Title X funded clinics.

Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.

Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexual’s as a “discreet and insular minority” entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities.

So, it’s true that Mike Pence has been a vocal opponent of gay rights. It’s also true that referred to “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior” in a 2000 campaign statement. However, “change their sexual behavior” is a broad term that could mean a number of different things, and we haven’t found any instances of Pence saying on the record that he supports gay conversion therapy or electroshock gay conversion therapy.