Students marched against Mike Pence

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 31: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks during a press conference March 31, 2015 at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pence spoke about the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has been condemned by business leaders and Democrats. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Around a hundred students have walked out of their own graduation ceremony to protest the homophobic American VP’s commencement address. Many dissenting Notre Dame University graduates wore rainbow flags and scarves as part of an organised statement against Pence who is known for radically opposing the rights of sexual minorities long before being appointed as VP. More than 2,700 students, employees and alumni signed a letter protesting the speech, with LGBT activists also organising for hundreds of rainbow flags to be flown all over the campus based in Indiana, Pence’s home state where he served as a governor previously. As Governor of Indiana, Pence stood in the way of expanding HIV services and preventative measures like needle exchanges – until he was forced to declare a public health emergency in 2015 due to a sharp rise in transmissions. And the vice president also once suggested on a campaign website that HIV prevention funding be drained in order to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy.Grace Watkins, an organiser for the protest who helped raise $1,000 and order 400 flags, said the action would show students they were “valued and safe.”

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