Protesters plan to greet Mike Pence in ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ garb at Focus on the Family speech in Colorado Springs

Author: Ernest Luning - June 23, 2017 - Updated: June 23, 2017

Activists dressed as characters from "The Handmaid's Tale" chant in the Texas Capitol Rotunda as they protest SB8, a bill that would require health care facilities, including hospitals and abortion clinics, to bury or cremate any fetal remains whether from abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Austin. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Activists dressed as characters from “The Handmaid’s Tale” chant in the Texas Capitol Rotunda as they protest SB8, a bill that would require health care facilities, including hospitals and abortion clinics, to bury or cremate any fetal remains whether from abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Austin. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Some of the protesters planning to welcome Vice President Mike Pence to Colorado Springs on Friday will be wearing red robes and white bonnets from the dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which depicts a fundamentalist society that treats women as property, organizers told Colorado Politics.

“It’s our way of making kind of a shocking statement,” said Ryan Barry of Unite Colorado Springs, one of the groups putting together a rally to greet Pence when he shows up to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of  Focus on the Family, the conservative Christian organization headquartered in Briargate on the north side of Colorado Springs.

When Pence arrives to speak at the Focus chapel, protest organizers wrote in a social media post, “We will be there to greet him with peaceful resistance. We will rally to show Mike Pence and Focus on the Family that this community rejects hatred and bigotry in all its hideous forms.”

“The Handmaid’s Tale,” a 1985 Margaret Atwood novel, gained renewed attention this spring when it was the basis of a Hulu TV series, inspiring some protesters across the country to don the distinctive garb.

“It’s a way of showing that Focus on the Family and Mike Pence stand for very restrictive, ‘traditional’ gender roles, opposition to choice for women and anti-LGBTQ positions,” Barry said, noting that plenty of the protesters won’t be wearing the “Handmaid’s Tale” outfits. “This is the way they see Focus, this backwards organization that’s promoting stuff that’s far beyond what most of us would consider applicable for modern society.”

Barry said it bothers him that Pence, who has “has made it very clear he is not OK with LGBTQ people,” will be “lending legitimacy” to Focus and its message.

“For the LGBTQ community,” he said, “it’s been an overwhelmingly destructive force.”

Barry acknowledged that Jim Daly, who took over from founder James Dobson to head Focus in 2009, has softened some of the organization’s rhetoric but said it doesn’t matter. “The language has been slightly less hostile than it has been in the past, but it’s the same message,” he said. “Unless they literally apologize to the LGBTQ community for what they’ve done, to me, it’s empty words.”

While Focus hasn’t reversed its conservative positions, Daly made a point a few years ago of backing off from the front lines of the culture wars and shifting its tone on some topics.

Whatever they’re wearing, protest organizers said — some have been trading tips on constructing white bonnets, others have been tracking down rainbow flag accessories — the protesters intend to show Pence and Focus “what real family values are: love, compassion, justice, liberty, equality, and fighting for the marginalized, the oppressed, the poor, the sick and the elderly.”

Barry said he expects upwards of 100 protesters to show up Friday morning at the “peaceful resistance” rally, which is also being organized by the Colorado Springs chapter of the Colorado Action Network, the Pikes Peak Progressives and the Colorado Springs Socialists.

Pence’s appearance won’t be open to the public due to security and capacity concerns, Focus officials said earlier this month.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.


  • lisa sperling

    June 23, 2017 at 2:56 am

    The powers that be, which are the financial powers (run by Rome’s Jesuit priests who control BANKING), run both sides of any issue. They fund pro abortion, they fund anti abortion. Malcolm X revealed that the same powers that supported the Black Panthers, also funded the Ku Kllux Klan. He was said to have been murdered publicly in Harlem, while giving a speech. And that it was punishment for his revelation that the powers that be control both sides of any issue.
    This bizarre dress and display is run by the same people who control what they are allegedly protesting about. It’s strange, almost medieval and menacing. I still don’g get their elaborate point. Maybe its just an opportnity to parade around in menacing, medieval garb. It’s almost like the inquisition, when the inqisitors wore red robes with hoods. What is their point? Jesuit priests run both sides of any issue, they create their own opposition and operate behind the scenes, but go for these corny, syimbolical theatrical displays. they are masters of theatrics, but this seems over the top.

    Video for jesuit control of banking▶ 1:37:08
    Feb 23, 2015 – Uploaded by Guy Caballero
    The Fact of the matter is quite clear to see, the Rothschild’s are nothing more than bankers for the Black Pope …

    Video for jesuits priesthood of absolute evil▶ 1:01:24
    Sep 2, 2013 – Uploaded by ChristianPatriarchy

    • lisa sperling

      June 23, 2017 at 3:56 am

      This is yet another example of “predictive programming”. It pretnds to be against a dystopian society, but it creates an image that impresses the subconscious, to actually bring about the event. Like the Simpsons and their predictive programming, or 9/11 symbols in cartoon and films, before 9/11. When people’s guard is down, they hope to impress these dramatic, costumed images on the subconscious. It’s wicked manipulation of hte subconscious mind, of which Jesuits are the masters,experts of the subconscious mind manipulation through theater. Takes place in New England, home of the fake Salem witch trials. New England was where the Freemasons began their theatrical “revolution” against King George, so is the opposite – a return to tyranny – also set in New England. I find this menacing, and the story is just an excuse for the costumes and images, which is PREDICTIVE PROGRAMMING. Sneaky, very sneaky. It hopes to bring about what it purports to be against, through images and costumes and chants, probably. Chants play to the subconscious. Images and movements play to the subconscious. A theatrical display the Jesuits are known for. When they enslaved the Guarani Indians in the late 15th century, they had constant theatrical performances to keep them busy and attention deflected from what the Jesuit priests were doing t o them: imposing slavery.and stealing their productive power.

  • Tannim

    June 23, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Sounds like idiots protesting imbeciles. Or vice versa.

  • dbeach

    June 23, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Isn’t it ironic that the LGBTQ community wants to show Focus on the Family what real family values are when the units of that community cannot even produce a family by themselves?

  • Christa

    June 25, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Who is making those red clothed women have sex against their will???
    Isn’t freedom of religion still a thing in this country? Not everybody is O.K. with
    gay marriage. Deal with it. Or gay adoption. But it is legal. So what’s the problem?

  • Handmaid's Tale TV Show

    August 14, 2017 at 6:49 am

    This Handmaid’s Tale TV Series a terrifying piece of television and literature. The first 3 episodes were simultaneously released on Hulu, April 26th, 2017 and also can watchable at with free streaming online.

Comments are closed.