Tags: Gay Marriage | Trump Administration | adam rippon | olympics | figure skater | mike pence

Gay Figure Skater's Mom: Son Didn't 'Refuse' to Meet Pence

(CNN's "New Day") 

By    |   Thursday, 08 February 2018 04:31 PM

The mother of a gay Olympic figure skater defended her son's decision not to meet with Vice President Mike Pence before the Winter Games opening — insisting it was not a blanket refusal.

In an interview with CNN's "New Day," Kelly Rippon said her son Adam preferred not to have the distraction of the meeting before competition at the Winter Games.

"I believe that you can say it many different ways. I don't think he ever said 'I refuse to do that,' because that suggests a tone of intolerance and inflexibility," Rippon said.

"He conveyed to whomever, I don't know the individuals, that any kind of communication would have to be done after the competition is over," she added.

USA Today reported Wednesday that Pence's staff requested a meeting with the skater after he criticized the vice president as the pick to lead the U.S. delegation, but the young man refused.

Adam Rippon sought to explain his stance, telling the BBC he would be open to a meeting, but he just did not want to distract his team or competitors.

"After the competition I'm open to meeting him and having an open conversation, but opening ceremonies are [Friday], and I've been really focused," he told the BBC.

The figure skater has been critical of the Trump administration's values, and Pence "doesn't really stand for anything I believe in," asserting the vice president supported "gay conversion therapy," he told USA Today.

The vice president's office has denied Pence believes in "gay conversion therapy" and reached out to the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee asking to provide clarification to Rippon on his claims, The Hill reported.

"The USA Today report is false and should be corrected," White House eputy chief of staff Jarrod Agen said in a statement, according to The Hill. "As all these facts show, there was only one phone call from our office, and it was not as portrayed by the USA Today report. As we've said before, the Vice President is supporting all the U.S. athletes in the Olympics and is hoping they all win a medal."

Pence, who will lead the U.S. delegation during Friday's opening ceremony, called news he refused meeting claims fake news.

As governor of Indiana, Pence in 2015 signed a religious objections bill that some convention organizers and business leaders have opposed amid concern it could allow discrimination against gay people.

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The mother of a gay Olympic figure skater defended her son's decision not to meet with Vice President Mike Pence before the Winter Games opening, insisting it was not a blanket refusal.
adam rippon, olympics, figure skater, mike pence
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2018-31-08
Thursday, 08 February 2018 04:31 PM
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