Vice-President Mike Pence has been put through the ringer for not allowing the media to be in on a meeting he had with the Prime Minister of Ireland. It was a breakfast meeting between the Prime Minister and the Vice-President, but the lack of media was criticized for more than one reason. It wasn't just the lack of access that the public was getting to their public officials, it was the fact that the Irish Prime Minister is gay.
Leo Varadkar as the Prime Minister of Ireland made his annual trip to the United States on St. Patrick's Day of course. This was the first year that Leo Varadkar has made the trip as the Prime Minister of Ireland. Of course, this was a unique experience given that Varadkar is an openly gay man, and the Vice-President has been so vocal in his opposite to the LGBT community.
The Prime Minister stated to local Irish media that he would like to raise LGBT issues to the Vice-President when the two met for breakfast. Was the fear of how the Vice-President would respond to such questions the reason why media was not permitted inside the meeting? Also, if the Vice-President is so assured of his position on LGBT rights, why would he mind if these thoughts were captured by the media? Clearly, the Vice-President is trying to hide his bigoted beliefs out of the sights of any cameras.
The Human Rights Campaign called out Pence for not wanting to be seen with a gay person or to have to speak up for his record on the issue. It seems clear that this was at least some of the motivation behind hiding the cameras out of sight of the event.
There is a lot of evidence that Pence and the White House view the record that Pence has on LGBT rights as something of a vulnerability. They can read polls too and know that the country is really not with them on this issue in particular. Instead of changing tactics and perhaps considering taking a different position, the White House and Pence have stuck to their guns on this one. Now, even the Irish Prime Minister is someone they do not want to put out in the spotlight due to his sexuality. What a terribly sad state of affairs that is for the progress being made on LGBT rights in this country and the rest of the world as well.