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Donald Trump's running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, is already loathed in Silicon Valley

Cue the collective disdain of Silicon Valley

Indiana Governor Mike Pence (l) and Donald Trump (r)
Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty

Donald Trump used his favorite hailing frequency, Twitter, to confirm his selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate.

It’s news that leaked Thursday, ahead of the official press conference. And the choice is bound to make conservatives within the Republican party happy — though the he’s unlikely to win the hearts and minds of anyone in the tech industry.

Indeed, his selection is likely to provoke the ire of many leaders in Silicon Valley, 70 of whom aligned against an anti-LGBT measure that Pence signed into law last year.

Some of the technology industry’s most prominent executives — among them Apple’s Tim Cook and Salesforce’s Marc Benioff — vocally protested the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a “religious liberty bill” that they warned would open the door to legalizing discrimination against minority groups.

Benioff was the first to speak out against the law, threatening to reduce the company’s investment in the state — and later vowing to cancel all Salesforce programs that required customers or employees to travel to Indiana.

Cook, meanwhile, penned an op-ed in the Washington Post that condemned what he saw as a wave of new legislation that he said would enshrine discrimination.

Amid mounting pressure, Pence urged the legislature to revise the law to include language that businesses cannot use it to discriminate based on a client’s sexual orientation.

But the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign said Pence has a “disastrous record” on other LGBT issues, opposing marriage equality and Department of Education guidelines supporting transgender students.

“As Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence has given us all a preview of his vision for America — a future where LGBTQ people everywhere are put at risk for discrimination because of who they are or whom they love,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof.

Of course, Trump isn’t courting Silicon Valley with his choice of Pence. The first-term governor and former congressman is there to make the GOP’s evangelical wing happy. He’s a guy, the Wall Street Journal remembers, who described himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”

For Silicon Valley, which has aggressively used corporate muscle on issues of LGBT rights, it seems Trump’s likely pick might be the worst possible selection he could have made.

Given that it’s Trump we’re talking about, is that really much of a surprise?

“I think he'd be a horrible president, and almost by definition anyone who would be his running mate can't be that much better,” said Box CEO Aaron Levie.

Update: Trump said he planned to postpone Friday’s news conference to announce his vice presidential pick after a truck plowed into a crowd watching the Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, leaving more than 70 people dead.

Update: Silicon Valley is beginning is revving up the political commentary:

This article originally appeared on

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