To celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, it is tradition that the Prime Minister of Ireland visit the United States. This year, though, it was a unique meeting between the PM of Ireland and the US Vice President: one is gay and the other is anti-gay. Vice President Pence infamously singed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when he was governor of Indiana, which made it legal to discriminate against the LGBT community, he has also championed federal funds for gay “conversion therapy,” and his wife has recently come under fire for teaching at a private Christian school that bans the LGBT community.
The Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, used the opportunity to champion LGBT rights. “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.”
“Last year you and Karen said that my partner, Matthew, would be welcome to join us, and we’re both really honored to accept the invitation this year,” Varadkar said while visiting the Naval Observatory.
Despite his track record, Pence remained cordial.
“We’re also really honored to be joined by your partner, Dr. Matthew Barrett. He does great work at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago,” the vice president said.
Varadkar was then off to the Friends of Ireland luncheon on Capitol Hill where he chatted with President Donald Trump. They discussed Brexit.