What Happened in the Meeting Between Mike Pence and the Gay Irish PM?

When Vice President Mike Pence met with Irish prime minister Enda Kenny last year, the media covered the St. Patrick’s Day-themed breakfast. This year, the press was not allowed in to the event — could it be because Ireland now has an openly gay prime minister, one who pledged to bring up the issue of LGBT rights with the antigay VP?

That question is being asked by the Human Rights Campaign and Pence’s hometown newspaper, The Indianapolis Star.

Leo Varadkar — who, in June, became the first gay person and first person of Indian heritage to be named Taoiseach — said he planned to address LGBT rights in the Friday meeting and was disappointed the press weren’t allowed to attend.

“I am told Vice President Pence is not a supporter of conversion therapy even though some people have mentioned he is,” Varadkar, 39, said prior to the meeting, according to the Irish publication “But I imagine I will have the opportunity, I am going to be meeting him over breakfast on Friday morning, so if I have the opportunity I will certainly be mentioning the wider issue of equal rights and freedoms for LGBT citizens.”

This isn’t the first time Varadkar spoke out about Pence.



Pence’s spokesperson denied he supports “conversion therapy,” but the former Indiana governor is a notorious enemy of LGBT rights. His rumored support of “conversion therapy” goes back to wording on his 2000 Congressional campaign website. Without question is his ardent opposition to same-sex marriage, hate crime laws, employment nondiscrimination bills, and any acknowledgment of transgender or reproductive rights.

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