“I’m very concerned at the new administration’s attitude,” says Leo Varadkar
Minister Leo Varadkar has urged the Taoiseach to challenge Trump on the issues of LGBT rights and climate change when Enda Kenny visits the President on St. Patrick’s Day.
Varadkar also called for Irish values on LGBT rights to be protected when engaging with Vice-President Mike Pence.
Pence has been a proponent of using taxpayer’s money to fund the controversial anti-LGBT practice called conversion therapy, which attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation and has been widely condemned by the medical community.
“I’m very concerned at the new administration’s attitude,” Varadkar said in relation to the LGBT and climate change pages being removed from the White House website hours after President Trump was inaugurated on Friday.
“I don’t agree in any way with his comments in the past on conversion therapy or the views he’s expressed on equality issues in general,” Varadkar added in relation to Pence.
“In many ways [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel described it very well.
“She said we will engage and try to engage positively with the new administration but not to the extent that it compromises our values,” Varadkar recounted.
“I think that’s the basis on which we need to approach the new administration.”
Trump has been vocal about his belief that he does not believe the scientific evidence of climate change brought about by mankind, and indicated that he wants to exit the US from the UN’s Paris agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
The ramifications of a Trump regime on LGBT rights and equality are only beginning to manifest themselves.
While the former Secretary of State John Kerry had published an apology from the State Department to LGBT people, the apology has since been deleted from the US Department of State’s website.
In the statement, Kerry apologised for discrimination against LGBT people by the State Department dating back to the 1940s.