Out gay Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy sat down with CBS This Morning Thursday and said he would not go to the White House if invited.
The skier is one of the first openly gay athletes to represent the United States at the Olympic games, alongside figure skater Adam Rippon, both of whom have been vocal about their discontent with the Trump administration.
“When we have people elected into office that believe in conversion therapy and are trying to strip trans rights in the military and do these things that are directly attacking the LGBT community, I have no patience,” Kenworthy said.
Kenworthy’s comments are in reference to claims that Vice President Mike Pence supported gay conversion therapy. Pence’s office denied such claims, but Pence has a notorious anti-LGBTQ record. That “claim” refers to a statement on Pence’s official website he used in 2000 while running for Congress, which noted, “resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
Kenworthy had previously called Pence a “bad fit” to lead the U.S. Olympic delegation.
“I am so proud to be from the U.S. and to be from a country where you are able to voice your political opinions and stand up for what you believe in,” he told CBS.
Rippon and Kenworthy have spoken out about Pence before. Rippon reportedly declined a meeting with the Vice President, which Pence’s office denied, insisting that Pence “offered” a meeting, but did not “request” one, so as not to distract from Rippon’s competition. After much back and forth between the two on the subject, Rippon declared earlier this week that he doesn’t want his Olympic experience to be about Mike Pence. The Olympic champion also proclaimed that he would boycott any Team USA celebrations held by Donald Trump, and would rather host an LGBTQ-friendly event of his own.
Rippon and Kenworthy are blazing the trail for future out LGBTQ Olympians. The pair shared a photo on Instagram voicing their support for “TeamUSGay,” sardonically writing “Eat your heart out, Pence” in the caption.
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