Saturday 3 December 2016

Varadkar would like to tell Pence his story of being gay in Ireland

Published 21/11/2016 | 02:30

US vice president-elect Mike Pence. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
US vice president-elect Mike Pence. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar would welcome the United States vice president-elect Mike Pence to Ireland so he could tell him his story of coming out as a gay man.

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Mr Pence, who will be Donald Trump's number two in the White House, has said he would support the use of federal money to treat gay people "seeking to change their sexual behaviour".

Taoiseach Enda Kenny faced heavy criticism in recent days for inviting Mr Pence to Ireland, during a 15-minute phonecall.

The incoming vice-president's grandfather Richard Cawley left Ireland in 1923 for Chicago, where he became a bus driver.

But Mr Varadkar has defended the Government's friendly approach to the controversial new American administration.

"The right approach, I think, with anyone is to respect their religion, respect their values and engage with them. That's how you win over minds and soften hearts," he said.

"When it comes to Mike Pence, I'd like him to come to Ireland. I'd personally like to meet him. I'd love to tell him my story, but more importantly I'd love to tell him the story of our country," he told RTÉ radio.

Irish Independent

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