Adam Rippon, the 2016 US men’s figure skating champion, has come out to blast the White House’s selection of Vice President Mike Pence to lead the 2018 US Olympic delegation.
In a phone call with USA Today Sports, Rippon noted, “You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?” Rippon said, “I’m not buying it.”
Rippon has said that he would rather not meet Vice President Pence in the traditional meet and greet. “If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick,” Rippon said. “I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet somebody like that.”
He went on to say, “To stand by some of the things that Donald Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory. If he’s okay with what’s being said about people and Americans and foreigners and about different countries that are being called ‘shitholes,’ I think he should really go to church.”
Pence has upset the gay community with his comments in the past. Though it’s not clear that he has a personal issue with them, his funding of projects that help to “cure” homosexuality make him a figure of disgust to those within the community. Pence has put his religion in front of potential upset and has caused outrage in the gay community.
It’s clear that Pence is a divisive figure in the gay community. Openly against homosexuality and being Vice President of the United States is not a good mix. But as many Republicans are devout Christians, he will likely have significant support for his position. But his being chosen to lead the Olympic delegation may come back to bite the White House and they should have made a less controversial choice.
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