Ireland’s openly gay Prime Minister Leo Varadkar spoke out against homophobia right in front of notoriously anti-LGBTQ Vice President Mike Pence.
At a formal presidential visit earlier this week, Varadkar and his partner, Matt Barrett, met with Pence at the VP’s home in Washington, D.C. (Pence’s wife, Karen, was not in attendance.)
Vice President Mike Pence invited me and Matt to his home at the Naval Observatory this morning. It’s great to be back here for a really warm reception. pic.twitter.com/Wkh2Ic8lWP
— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) March 14, 2019
Varadkar thanked Pence for a “really warm reception”; however, when he was later asked by reporters about how he felt being in such close proximity to members of President Trump’s conservative administration, he didn’t hold back.
“I stand here as the leader of my country,” he told the press in a speech captured by The Guardian. “Flawed and human, but judged by my political actions, not by my sexual orientation, my skin tone, gender, or religious beliefs. And I don’t believe my country is the only country where this is possible.”
“We are, after all, all God’s children,” he added. “And that’s true of the U.S. as well—land and home of the brave and the free, where the promise of America inspires boys and girls all over the world to dream big dreams.”
Naturally, Pence was standing nearby and had to have heard the entire speech.
Let’s hope he takes a cue from Varadkar’s compassion and diplomacy—and that the Irish leader isn’t subjected to too many more awkward photo shoots with Trump.