VP Mike Pence is leading the official American delegation at the Winter Olympics and considering his awful track record on LGBTQ rights, figure skater Adam Rippon, the first ever openly gay man from the U.S. to qualify, was less than excited to meet him. Rippon told USA Today,
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it. 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.
I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet somebody like that. I don’t think he has a real concept of reality. 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’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah issued a statement on Rippon’s remarks, calling them “misinformed claims”.
“The vice president is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America’s incredible athletes. This accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the US athletes …”
But Rippon says he would confront Pence about his anti-LGBTQ views, after the Olympics,
“If I had the chance to meet him afterwards, after I’m finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation. He seems more mild-mannered than Donald Trump. … But I don’t think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up. Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I really believe in.”
The 2018 Winter Olympics start this Friday in South Korea with full coverage on NBC.
(Top photo, Youtube; via Gay Times)