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Vice President Mike Pence's request to meet with an Olympic figure skater was turned down, USA Today reports.
Pence's staff reportedly sought to arrange a discussion with Adam Rippon, the 2016 U.S. men's figure skating champion and one of the first openly gay U.S. Winter Olympians, who had told the newspaper in an interview last month that he wasn't fond of the vice president.
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?” he said. “I don’t think he has a real concept of reality."
“To stand by some of the things that Donald Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory. If he’s OK with what’s being said about people and Americans and foreigners and about different countries that are being called ‘s**tholes,’ I think he should really go to church.”
Pence will lead the U.S. delegation to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Rippon said he wouldn't go out of his way “to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person, but that they think that they’re sick.”
I personally have nothing to say to Mike Pence. Given the chance to talk after the Olympics, I would want to bring with me people who’s lives have been hurt by legislation he has championed.
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) January 20, 2018
The claim that Pence supports gay conversion therapy originates from a statement on his 2000 Indiana congressional campaign's website, according to USA Today, which reads: “Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
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Alyssa Farah, a spokeswoman for the vice president, rebutted this claim.
The legislation encourages safe sex as to avoid the spread of AIDs. This isn't complicated unless you deliberately misread the legislative text..
— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) January 20, 2018
“The vice president is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America’s incredible athletes,” Farah said last month.
“This accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”
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