Gov. Pence: Staffers Shouldn't Have Deleted Facebook Comments

Some Hoosier residents reported that their comments on his Facebook page about same-sex marriage were deleted despite no vulgar language or the like.

UPDATE, June 28, 2013, 5 p.m.: A Facebook page called I Got Blocked By Governor Mike Pence for stating my Opinion now has more than 1,000 “likes.”

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is playing defense politically after his administration looked into allegations from Hoosier ciitzens that some of his staffers deleted contrary comments in response to a post on his official Facebook page. That dispatch had reaffirmed his belief that “marriage is the union between a man and a woman and is a unique institution worth defending,” and arrived on the heels of two U.S. Supreme Court decisions, U.S. v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry. SCOTUS had opened the door for same-sex marriage to be reimplemented as law in the face of California’s Proposition 8.

Facebook users who disagreed with Pence’s position angrily assailed him with their own original posts via that social-media channel and by commenting time and again on his page. This morning, Pence and his staff wrote again on his Facebook page, saying “Our longstanding policy, on this and other social media sites, has been to delete inflammatory comments that include name-calling, vulgarity or comments personally insulting to others. … On careful review, it appear that this was not always the case and some comments were being deleted simply because they expressed disagreement with my position.”

Pence did not backtrack, however, from his previous post’s statements, which included these foreshadowing words: “Now that the Supreme Court has had its say on the federal government’s role in defining marriage, the people of Indiana should have their say about how marriage is understood and defined in our state. … I am confident that Hoosiers will reaffirm our commitment to traditional marriage … I look forward to supporting efforts by members of the Indiana General Assembly to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot for voter consideration next year.”

On April 5, U.S. senator Joe Donnelly voiced his support for what he termed “marriage equality.”

Photo by Tony Valainis