Thursday 26 April 2018

The love that dare not speak its name... with US Republicans

The Taoiseach chose his moments carefully when considering when, and when not, to address gay rights while in the United States, writes Philip Ryan

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and United States President Donald J. Trump. Photo: Getty Images
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and United States President Donald J. Trump. Photo: Getty Images
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

US Representative Peter King did not join the applauding crowd when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described how honoured he was to attend the Gay Pride festival in Belfast last year.

In fact, Mr King was the only speaker sitting on the stage in the Library of Congress who did not clap when Mr Varadkar spoke of the need for marriage equality rights for the citizens of Northern Ireland.

Gerry Adams applauded, as did former US special envoy to Northern Ireland George Mitchell and former Ulster Unionist Party (UPP) leader Mike Nesbitt, who were also sitting on the stage. The vast majority of the audience, including Sinn Fein bigwigs Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O'Neill, also put their hands together for the Taoiseach's remarks.

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