Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who is openly gay, brought his partner to a traditional breakfast hosted at Vice President Mike Pence‘s house on Thursday.
Varadkar traveled to Washington this week for a St. Patrick’s Day ceremonial meeting between the U.S. and Ireland and attended a breakfast with his partner, Matt Barrett, at Pence’s residence at the Naval Observatory.
The prime minister tweeted pictures of him and his partner at Pence’s house, saying, “It’s great to be back here for a really warm reception.”
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
Although First Lady Karen Pence did not attend the breakfast, at one point she stood alongside the vice president to greet Prime Minister Leo Varadkar Barrett as they arrived and quickly took pictures together before engaging in small talk about the weather.
Watch the greeting below:
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence meets Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the meeting drawing attention amid Pence's widely known conservative views on LGBT rights pic.twitter.com/nO5E4xnjiq
Throughout the breakfast, Varadkar geared attention towards his beliefs of equality for all people, including LGBT people. His remarks stood in stark contrast to previous comments and positions from the vice president on same-sex marriage.
During his speech, Varkdar proclaimed, “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, my gender or my religious beliefs.”
“And I don’t believe that my country’s the only one in the world where this story is possible. It’s found in every country where freedom and liberty are cherished,” he continued.”We are, after all, all God’s Children.”
The prime minister went on to signify the importance of America’s role in being a global influencer, based on the country’s values.
“And that’s true of the United States as well the land and home of the brave and free,” he said. “Where the promise of America inspires boys and girls all over the world to dream big dreams and inspires others around the world to do the same.”
Watch the video below:
The Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar called out various forms of discrimination in a meeting with Mike Pence on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/zJwr6Oxije
— The Guardian (@guardian) March 14, 2019
Pence has faced criticism this week for his views, policies, and allegiance to President Donald Trump from Democratic presidential nominees including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.