Gay Olympian Adam Rippon Reportedly Refused Meeting With Mike Pence



Openly gay Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon apparently gave Mike Pence the cold shoulder last month when the vice president asked for a meeting.Openly gay Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon apparently gave Mike Pence the cold shoulder last month when the vice president asked for a meeting.USA Today reported Wednesday that, according to two sources, Rippon declined a meeting with Pence that the vice president tried to arrange with the help of the U.S. Olympic Committee. On Wednesday night, Pence, who will lead the official U.S. delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, sent the following tweet: Rippon hadn’t responded as of Thursday morning, publicly criticized the vice president in a Jan. 17 USA Today story.“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?” Rippon told the paper. “I’m not buying it.”Rippon went on to say he’d rather not meet the vice president during the traditional meet-and-greet between the official delegation and U.S. Olympians that occurs before the opening ceremony.“If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my 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,” he said, pointing to Pence’s reported support of ex-gay “conversion” therapy while serving in Congress.Rippon’sinspired Pence’s press secretary Alyssa Farah to send a rebuttal, claiming “Rippon’s accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact,” adding that the vice president “will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”Snopes points out that Pence has never publicly advocated gay conversion therapy, but once supported the use of federal funding to treat people “seeking to change their sexual behavior.”The 28-year-old Rippon is the first openly gay U.S. man to qualify for the Winter Olympics, though a number of Olympic figure skaters have come out as members of the LGBTQ community after their competitive days have ended. This article originally appeared on HuffPost.