Irish PM brings partner to meet Mike Pence
Consider how much easier it would be for Mr. Pence to conduct business if he could deal with more LGBTQ couples where both partners were men.
Irish PM brings partner to meet Mike Pence and delivers pointed remarks on sexuality
The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, who is gay, brought his partner to a meeting on Thursday with the US vice-president, Mike Pence, a conservative Christian once dubbed “the face of anti-LGBTQ hate in America”.
Varadkar, who is in Washington this week to reaffirm the longstanding shared history between the two countries, brought his partner, Matt Barrett, to a St Patrick’s Day breakfast at the vice-presidential residence at the Naval Observatory.
Varadkar tweeted that he and Barrett had received a “warm reception” at Pence’s home, but in pointed remarks to Pence and gathered media, he also called out various forms of discrimination.
“I lived in a country where if I’d tried to be myself at the time, it would have ended up breaking laws,” he said. “But today, that is all changed. I stand here, leader of my country, flawed and human, but judged by my political actions, and not by my sexual orientation, my skin tone, gender or religious beliefs.”
Pence’s history of anti-LGBT stances during his time in office as a congressman and governor of Indiana and throughout much of his life has been well documented, so much so that Trump once joked about the hatred as if it was no big secret. During a conversation on gay rights with legal scholars, Trump once interrupted and gestured to Pence, saying, “Don’t ask that guy – he wants to hang them all!” according to the New Yorker.
Pence’s anti-LGBT bona fides include supporting so-called conversion therapy, to signing a religious freedom bill that would have worked as a license to discriminate against gay people. More recently his wife Karen Pence came under fire for teaching at a Christian school with policies of banning LGBT teachers and students.