Mike Pence vs. Adam Rippon: V.P. Feuds with Openly Gay Figure Skater

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Mike Pence is heading up the US Olympic delegation in Pyeongchang for the 2018 Winter Olympics. He has Mother in tow, of course, so that he can talk to the lady athletes if needed.

But he doesn't need his wife to chaperone him tweeting to openly gay Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, which is exactly what he did after Rippon reportedly rejected his offer to meet.

What started all of this was Rippon's comments about Mike Pence's alleged homophobia and support for "conversion therapy."

Adam Rippon

There's no shortage of gay and bisexual athletes in the world, and the Olympics are no exception.

Many of these athletes are not yet out, however. Olympians often hope to profit from sponsorships, and since their very existence can be controversial and lead to calls for boycotts, some find it easier to remain in the closet.

That harmful and homophobic culture is (very slowly) changing. And openly gay figureskater Adam Rippon is a great example.

Naturally, he was asked for his thoughts about Vice President Mike Pence, who is notorious for his conservative views and seen as an enemy of the LGBT community, leading the American Olympic delegation.

Rippon replied: "You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I'm not buying it."

Mike Pence Pic

Conversion therapy, of course, is "treatment" in which LGBT people are subjected to emotional and psychological torment until they convince themselves that they're, well, straight. Sometimes self-hating people sign up, sometimes parents force their gay children into it.

Rippon's comment, referring to Mike Pence's infamous stint as Indiana Governor that saw him accused of homophobia and laying out policies that harmed the LGBT community among others, did not go unnoticed.

Mike Pence tweeted this:

"Headed to the Olympics to cheer on #TeamUSA. One reporter trying to distort 18 yr old nonstory to sow seeds of division. We won't let that happen! #FAKENEWS. Our athletes are the best in the world and we are for ALL of them! #TEAMUSA."

He then tweeted at Adam Rippon, directly.

".@Adaripp I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don't let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold. Go get 'em!"


Adam Rippon Image

Adam Rippon reportedly declined an invitation to meet with Mike Pence. He is, however, reportedly open to the idea of a meeting after the Olympics.

Responses to that have been mixed.

There are certain people who feel that a polite sit-down is common courtesy, regardless of ideological differences.

Others disagree, citing that different opinions on tax law is very different from "opinions" that certain groups of people aren't entitled to basic human rights, and that oppressed minorities don't owe anything to the people in power who work against them.

Adam Rippon, however, has other things on his mind right now: the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

"Tonight I walked in the #OpeningCeremony and got to watch my old friend @Yunaaaa light the Olympic flame. Representing the USA is one of the greatest honors of my life and being able to do it as my authentic self makes it all so much sweeter."

Mike Pence and Mother

In the mean time, Mike Pence -- who famously opposes mixing politics with sports, as he demonstrated with that absurd walk-out stunt last year -- notably refused to stand for the joint Korean delegation.

Why? Probably because of Trump's hardline approach to North Korea.

Twitter is roasting him, calling him out for hypocrisy.

No one questions that the North Korean regime is monstrous and an affront to human rights.

People do question why someone would object to North and South Korea reconciling, since peace between the two nations seems like the best way to put North Korea on a path to softening its stances and allowing human rights to flourish.

Adam Rippon Photo

Some believe that Mike Pence's overture towards Rippon was yet another calculated political stunt to make him appear to be less hostile to LGBT rights than he actually is.

Pence can say what he likes, after all, but his history as Governor of Indiana speaks for itself and has nothing nice to say.

And it doesn't help that Trump reportedly "joked" that Pence would love to see all ay people hang.

Others, however, feel that perhaps the tweet was genuine.

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