While President Donald Trump is causing havoc in the U.S., Vice President Mike Pence is set to arrive in South Korea to lead the official U.S. delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympic opening ceremony.
Vice President Pence’s history of anti-LGBT policies is notorious. In fact, he was a driving force behind Trump’s attempt to ban transgender troops from the U.S. military. Despite that, the vice president was still stunned as to why openly gay Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon criticized Pence’s selection as U.S. delegation leader for Pyeongchang Winter Games opening ceremony.
According to USA Today, Pence’s team tried to set up a meeting to clear the air with the Olympic Star, but Rippon shut him down:
“According to two people with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly about it, a member of Pence’s staff requested the conversation with the openly gay Rippon after reading the skater’s derogatory remarks about him in a USA TODAY Sports story that had been published online just an hour earlier.”
Rippon, the two people said, declined the invitation.
But things really heated up when a disgusted Rippon reacted to Pence’s role in the opening ceremony. He told reporters:
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it.”
Pence was apparently floored, and his team issued a statement to USA Today, insisting that any claim that he supported conversion therapy was “totally false”
Although it’s true that the term “conversion therapy” has never publicly dropped from Vice President Pence’s mouth, his 2000 campaign website states the following:
“Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
However, Rippon did say he would potentially meet with Pence after the games, but he did not want to engage in nonsense prior to competing in the Olympics.
Rippon added to his statement:
“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.”
Honestly, Rippon should not waste his time with Mike Pence. The vice president will just revert to one of his evangelical Christian tirades and “kindly” explain to Rippon how same-sex marriage is a shameful act.
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