Staff Writer Jax Gay
The Prime Minister of Ireland – his official title is "Taoiseach" – will sit down with Mike Pence at the Vice President's home in the Naval Observatory on Friday morning. Leo Varadkar, Ireland's first openly-gay head of state, says he will challenge Pence on LGBT civil rights in America, The Irish Times reports.
“We’ve always seen America as a beacon of freedom. This is the land of the free, the home of the brave, this is where the gay rights movement began,” Varadkar said at the popular SXSW festival and conference this past weekend. “It’s really tough to see a country built on freedom, build on individual freedom, not being a world leader in that space anymore. I think the majority of American people would agree with what I have to say, even if the administration doesn’t.”
The Vice President is virulently anti-gay, and recently engaged in a social media battle with U.S. Olympic skater Adam Rippon. During a congressional campaign Pence supported funding for "reparative therapy," a harmful practice thart claims to turn gay people straight. Courts have ruled it fraud and some LGBT people have labeled it torture.
In addition to meeting with Pence, Taoiseach Varadkar will reportedly meet with President Trump on Thursday. He is also slated this week to visit New York City's Stonewall Inn, now a U.S. National Monument and considered by many where America's LGBT civil rights movement began.