Irish Prime Minister speaks about not being judged for sexual orientation at lunch with Vice President Pence
At a breakfast hosted by Vice President Mike Pence, Ireland’s gay prime minister said he is not judged by who he loves, according to the Washington Post.
“I lived in a country where if I’d tried to be myself at the time, it would have ended up breaking laws,” Leo Varadkar said, according to the Post. “But today, that is all changed. 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.”
This breakfast between the two leaders “drew attention given that Varadkar is one of the few openly gay world leaders, while Pence has been frequently criticized for supporting anti-LGBTQ positions,” The Hill reported.
Pence has welcomed Varadkar into his home at the Naval Observatory before, but Thursday morning was the first time the vice president also hosted Varadkar’s partner, Matt Barrett, according to the Post.
The breakfast came after a meeting between Pence and the prime minister last year, where Varadkar “raised LGBT+ rights and equality issues,” the UK’s Independent reported.
Prior to the breakfast, Varadkar said differences between their administrations’ views on gay rights are clear, but that the two countries have a good working relationship, according to the Independent.
Many of the people in attendance were wearing green.
Pence tweeted that he was honored to host Varadkar at his home.