Openly gay Olympic athlete turns down Pence meeting

Annette Crawford
February 8, 2018

Openly gay Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon reportedly declined an invitation to meet with Vice President Mike Pence after he publicly criticized the vice president as being an adversary of the LGBT community.

Pence who was on his way to the Republic of Korea for the winter games, made the announcement after talks with Japan's Shinzo Abe, adding that he stands "shoulder to shoulder" with other allies like Japan.

Pence "was so concerned about the criticism" from Rippon "that his staff went to the extraordinary length of asking the U.S. Olympic Committee to set up a conversation between the two - an offer Rippon turned down", reports USA Today, which broke the initial story as well.

The US men's figure skating champion, however, said, "If I had the chance to meet him afterwards, after I'm finished competing, there might be a possibility to have an open conversation". "I wouldn't go out of my way to meet somebody like that".

Rippon in turn took to Twitter to provide "receipts" including a comment Pence made in 2000 during his run for Congress.

Pence argued that the Ryan White Care Act, providing funding for HIV/AIDS patients, should only be reauthorized "only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus". Mr. Pence has since denied ever supporting gay conversion therapy. Despite pushback from reporters, Farah refused to say what Pence was referencing in the statement.

Alyssa Farah, Pence's press secretary, responded promptly to Rippon's words, saying, "This accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact".

"The vice president is proud to lead the USA delegation to the Olympics and support America's incredible athletes", Farah said last month.

Rippon said he wasn't trying to pick a fight with Pence and said he'd consider meeting with him after the Olympics. "Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSpace exploration is good for American jobs Trump approves Indiana Medicaid work requirements Democrat Manchin: Pence attacks prove "they don't want bipartisanship" in Trump admin MORE doesn't really stand for anything that I believe in".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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