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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Leo Varadkar's partner to attend breakfast meeting at house of US vice president Mike Pence

The US vice president has been criticised for his views and his legislative record on LGBT people.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

Christina Finn reports from Washington DC

LEO VARADKAR’S PARTNER will join him for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations at US Vice President’s house tomorrow.

Last year, Mike Pence told the Taoiseach his partner, Matt Barrett, would be welcome in Pence’s home if he decides to attend this year.

Pence made the comments during a private conversation between the two, during which Varadkar raised LGBT rights and equality issues.

The US vice president describes himself as a “Christian, a conservative and a Republican” and has been criticised for his views and his legislative record on LGBT people.

“He’s going to be at the breakfast tomorrow,” Varadkar told reporters in Washington DC today. “He was able to get time off work and make the journey. He’ll be taking up the invitation from Mike and Karen Pence to attend tomorrow. Karen can’t be there because she’s in Abu Dhabi for the Special Olympics.”

The vice president was criticised last year for breaking with the tradition and not allowing media access to the conversation. Members of the press were left on the lawn of the vice president’s home during the meeting. 

At the time, the Taoiseach said it was the US administration’s decision to have the meeting in private.

Prior to it, Varadkar repeatedly said he would talk with Pence about social issues, including LGBT rights.

The media are permitted to attend the breakfast meeting this year. 

Barrett will also attend the traditional shamrock ceremony in the White House but it is understood he will not take to the stage during the presentation. 

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