Pence Calls It '18 Yr Old Nonstory' - Is It?
Mike Pence overnight posted a very Trumpian tweet in his latest attempt to not take responsibility for having supported funding for anti-gay conversion therapy.
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! #TEAMUSAâ€” Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 8, 2018
And while the Vice President can call it "fake news," it's not.
Olympic skater Adam Rippon last month slammed Vice President Pence for his support of the fraudulent practice of anti-gay conversion therapy, in a USA Today interview. Pence reportedly was so angered by Rippon's remarks within an hour of the article being published his office tried to arrange a conversation with the Olympic skater, who at the time was the first openly-gay athlete to participate in the Winer Olympic Games.
Rippon refused, as USA Today's Christine Brennan reported. She spoke with CNN Thursday morning to explain the entire story.
VP Mike Pence denies trying to set up a meeting with the gay US Olympian Adam Rippon but Christine Brennan tells CNN's @ChrisCuomo she stands by her reporting. https://t.co/5zCqMNnMyw pic.twitter.com/TxlFI8kUSHâ€” New Day (@NewDay) February 8, 2018
The Vice President "was so concerned about the criticism he received from U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon that his staff went to the extraordinary length of asking the U.S. Olympic Committee to set up a conversation between the two - an offer Rippon turned down," Brennan reported.
Pence's office is now refuting that they tried to arrange a conversation, but Brennan stands by her reporting, as she told CNN Thursday morning.
Conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, is a dangerous practice that supposedly turns gay people straight. It does not. In fact, every major medical organization has warned of the possible harms it can bring, which noting it is ineffective. It has also been linked to suicide. Judges have ruled it is "fraud."
Yet when running for re-election as a U.S. Congressman Mike Pence's campaign website noted he supported funding the practice, which Pence now denies.
"The widespread belief that Pence supports gay conversion therapy," USA Today noted, "comes from a statement he made in 2000 on his congressional campaign website: 'Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.' While he didn't explicitly mention gay conversion therapy, leaders in the LGBT community have said they believe that's what Pence meant in light of his long-standing opposition to gay rights."
Pence also tweeted directly to Rippon, basically telling the Olympic athlete what he told USA Today is fake news too:
.@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!â€” Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 8, 2018
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