Mike Pence Could Still Be Invited To Sligo

Mike pence, who might be invited to Sligo

A proposal to invite Mike Pence to Tubbercurry will be made following the Vice-President-elect’s inauguration in January


Sligo County Council have confirmed that no decision has been made on whether they will officially invite Vice-President-elect Mike Pence to the county.

Sligo’s Ocean FM reported that Sligo County Council Cathaoirleach Hubert Keaney told them that the issue of inviting Mike Pence has not been discussed in an official capacity as of yet.

Keaney explained that when issues like this arise, the normal process is that they are discussed by the council’s Corporate Policy Group.

Councillor Jerry Lundy of Tubbercurry said that he intends to propose a motion inviting the Vice-President-elect to Tubbercurry after Pence’s inauguration in January.


Declined To Comment

Tubbercurry Chamber of Commerce have declined to comment at this stage, explaining that they will be issuing a public statement on the matter in the future.

Last week, Tubbercurry Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Richard McCarrick said that they would be inviting Pence to visit “the home of his ancestors” following the US Presidential election results.

After receiving a letter of disapproval from concerned LGBT citizen Hayley Fox-Roberts which cited Pence’s regressive policies around LGBT people, Keaney indicated that he had no intention of inviting the Vice-President-elect to Ireland.


A Slap In The Face

Hayley Fox-Roberts spoke about what inviting Pence means to the local LGBT community on Ocean FM this morning.

She also highlighted some of his controversial policies regarding conversion therapy and LGBT rights.

Fox-Roberts elaborated on her original letter, saying that an invitation to Pence is “a slap in the face” to LGBT people living in the region in light of Pence’s policy on conversion therapy which “breaches human rights”.

“When I heard Pence was to be invited to county Sligo, disbelief and horror ran through me,” she said.

“The invitation is a direct blow to the status of LGBT people in this community, to all our family and friends, and to this country that prides itself on its equality.”

“Tubbercurry Chamber cheerfully ignoring Pence’s policies in order to ‘bring Tubbercurry to the world’s eyes’ (I paraphrase Amanda on Ocean Fm this morning) is shortsighted; it is tacit agreement with these policies.”



Fox-Roberts went on to warn of “the direct threat to LGBT people” that Mike Pence’s policies represent.

“Among all Pence’s policies of hate, disempowerment and discrimination, his plan to fund forcible conversion therapy – regarded internationally as torture – is a stark warning of the direct threat to LGBT people.”

“This policy cannot be ignored. It breaches human rights – so I declare that by inviting Pence, Tubbercurry Chamber is willing to dispense with human rights  – for some people – as long as they get a bit of publicity for the town.”

“For us queers living in the region, it’s a slap in the face – worse, it demonstrates that our feelings and lives don’t matter,” she said.

“For the LGBT population of Ireland, it signifies that the equality we pride ourselves on may just be for show. That the quick buck and the 15 minute spotlight outweigh the needs and freedoms of LGBT people in Ireland.”


Ignoring Is Supporting

“Roger McCarrick, and the Tubbercurry Chamber, need to realise it’s not possible to disregard Pence’s policies, not if they have any respect for LGBT people in Ireland – and especially, in Tubbercurry,” Fox-Roberts declared.

“Pence’s discrimination against LGBT people is a major part of his already-publicised policy recommendations. Ignoring those policies is supporting them, make no mistake.”

Fox-Roberts cautioned against the damage that Pence’s policies and rhetoric can cause for LGBT people, citing America as an example.

“Pence’s position of power means he can directly hurt LGBT people, and his policies and rhetoric encourage hatred and attack on our vulnerable populations. Be assured – what happens in America can happen here.”


No Dialogue

“I was pleased that Cathaoirleach Cllr Hubert Keaney responded so quickly, but I’m aware Sligo County Council will now discuss this at their next meeting. We can’t be certain they will refuse to invite Pence,” she said.

“The lack of response from Tubbercurry Chamber illustrates their unwillingness to be in dialogue with the LGBT community.”

“Many of us are afraid of what Pence will do to our community in the USA and how that may drip down to other countries, especially those that like the American dollar coming into the national purse,” Fox-Roberts disclosed.

“We are afraid for our LGBT family in the States, and at this stage, I begin to fear for our LGBT family here.”

“Thankfully, I know that together we are strong, and we will fight to maintain our equality.”


Image: AP Photo/Michael Conroy

© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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