Global Gag Rule Alive and Well in Indiana

Teachers forbidden to mention genocide resolution vote

Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN)

Editor’s Note: The Armenian Weekly Editorial Board has corrected the story below to reflect the accurate name of the school that Congressman Pence visited in November. During a phone conversation with the Weekly, Congressman Pence’s office denied the following events, conveyed to the Weekly by a source, ever took place.

Evidence that the State Department’s gag rule on discussing the Armenian Genocide is alive and well arose the week after the historic landslide vote in the United States House of Representatives. While the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.296) passed by a vote of 405 to 11, notable among the 11 “no” votes was Republican Congressman Greg Pence of Indiana, older brother of Vice President Mike Pence.

When Congressman Pence visited Central Middle School in Columbus, Indiana the week after the vote, school administrators directed teachers that no one should raise the Genocide Resolution or Cong. Pence’s “no” vote during his visit. It is reasonable to infer that Pence’s staff requested the imposition of the gag rule and that he wanted to avoid the embarrassment of defending his vote.

While it is possible that Pence’s staff was trying to avoid partisan politics during a school visit, Congressman Pence’s own words contradict this. In an article reporting on the visit in the Columbus Republic newspaper, Pence is quoted at length denouncing the House’s impeachment inquiry and calling it a “Soviet-style or Russian-style witch hunt.”

Congressmen Pence’s office has denied the aforementioned events, as conveyed to the Weekly by a source.

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