Ohio Greets Mike Pence with Giant LGBTQ Dance Party and Protests

White House

A lot of people went to great lengths Friday to let Vice President Mike Pence know he’s far from beloved in Columbus, OH.

A massive and colorful crowd gathered outside the hotel where Pence was scheduled to speak on tax reform, for a “Big LGBTQ Dance Party” to kick off a weekend of events celebrating Columbus Pride.

“We want to counter that anti-LGBT attitude that they have with a big, positive, loving dance party,” organizer Jay Smith said, according to CNN.

Dancers held signs asking, “Hoosier Daddy?”

And Mike Hot-Pence was spotted.

The giant dance party in the street certainly looked far more fun than what was going on inside the Renaissance Hotel, where Pence was booked by the White House-linked group America First Policies to talk about tax reform and the so-called accomplishments of the Trump administration.

But the America First Policies event didn’t quite go as planned. Protesters managed to get inside the hotel’s ballroom and interrupt Pence’s speech about six times. America First Policies spokeswoman Erin Montgomery told The Columbus Dispatch that more protesters had shown up at the Renaissance than in 14 previous events organized by the group combined.

According to the newspaper:

Outside the hotel, a vigorous pack of protesters who closed down Third Street dwarfed the size of the crowd inside, where about 100 chairs were vacant in the 400-seat ballroom. The Columbus crowd was far smaller than those even in such places as Fargo, North Dakota, Montgomery said.

Many of the ones who did occupy the seats were actually there to interrupt the vice president. “Children are being locked up in prisons,” one woman shouted as Pence tried to describe “the end of another extraordinary week.” Several seconds of shouting ensued before Pence supporters tried to drown out the protesters with chants of “USA! USA!”

Then, as Pence tried to inspire the crowd with, “Let’s hear it for the ‘America First’ policies!” another protester interrupted by asking, “Why are you ripping children from their families?”

At least 11 protesters were removed from the ballroom.

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