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03/19/2018 02:36 pm ET

LGBTQ Activists Had A St. Patrick's Day Message For Mike Pence

Rainbow flags greeted the vice president at a parade in Georgia.
Vice President Mike Pence's longtime opposition to LGBTQ rights did not go unnoticed during his weekend stop in Savannah, Geo
NurPhoto via Getty Images
Vice President Mike Pence's longtime opposition to LGBTQ rights did not go unnoticed during his weekend stop in Savannah, Georgia.

Vice President Mike Pence visited Savannah, Georgia, on Saturday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but his appearance had some revelers seeing rainbow instead of green.

Pence, along with his wife, Karen, and mother, Nancy Pence-Fritsch, watched the city’s St. Paddy’s Day parade with Mayor Eddie DeLoach. The vice president, who is of Irish descent, and his entourage also joined the marchers for a few blocks and posed for photographs along the way. 

Pence’s appearance, however, got a brisk reception from some vocal demonstrators along the parade route. A number of attendees held massive rainbow flags as the vice president, a vocal opponent of LGBTQ rights, passed by.

Some shouted, “Savannah’s so gay,” while others held placards with messages like “Love is love” and “The devil went down to Georgia.”   

The moment was captured for posterity on Twitter. 

Pence’s visit to Savannah came just weeks after a highly publicized online kerfuffle with Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, who is openly gay. 

The vice president also made headlines last Friday when he held a breakfast meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the first openly gay man elected to lead his country. Varadkar had said he planned to address LGBTQ rights during the meeting, which was closed to the media. 

“I am told Vice President Pence is not a supporter of conversion therapy even though some people have mentioned he is,” Varadkar said. “I am going to be meeting him over breakfast on Friday morning, so if I have the opportunity I will certainly be mentioning the wider issue of equal rights and freedoms for LGBT citizens.”

The prime minister didn’t seem too vexed about their meeting being closed, noting, “It allows us have maybe a frank conversation that we wouldn’t be able to have if the media was present.” 

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