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Iceland is rolling out the rainbow carpet for Mike Pence – literally

Nick Duffy September 5, 2019
Mike Pence was greeted by rainbow flags on his trip to Iceland

Mike Pence was greeted by rainbow flags on his trip to Iceland (Getty)

US vice president Mike Pence was greeted by a sea of rainbow flags on his visit to Iceland.

Trump’s deputy, who is known for his anti-LGBT+ politics, was given an exceptionally queer welcome during his visit to Iceland on Wednesday, September 4, as businesses across Reykjavík flew rainbow flags for the occasion.

A line of rainbow flags even greeted Pence next to the historic Höfði House, the location of a famous summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Mike Pence visit ‘a good day to celebrate diversity’.

Tech company Advania, which flew the flag from its HQ next to Höfði House, explained to The Reykjavik Grapevine: “This wasn’t a decision made by any one person.

“Rather, we decided as a group that today would be a good day to celebrate diversity.”

US Vice President Mike Pence attends a roundtable discussion on US-Iceland trade and investment relations with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland at Hofdi House in Reykjavik on September 4, 2019.
US Vice President Mike Pence attends a roundtable discussion on US-Iceland trade and investment relations with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland at Hofdi House in Reykjavik on September 4, 2019. (JEREMIE RICHARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Icelandic drag queen Heklina said: “Here’s a great example of why I’m proud to be from Iceland. Mike Pence is visiting the country and everyone is outraged.

“The mayor of Reykjavík, all the biggest firms and companies, everyone, they’re all flying the gay flag. All Pence will see everywhere on his visit is gay gay gay.”

Iceland is one of the most tolerant countries towards LGBT+ people, having introduced same-sex marriage in 2010 under former prime minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, who was the first openly lesbian head of government.

Vice President has anti-LGBT+ record.

Pence’s three years as vice president have become defined by frequent spats over LGBT+ rights and criticism over his closeness to anti-gay hate groups.

A 2018 report alleged that Pence has played a pivotal role in actions taken by the Trump administration to dismantle civil rights protections for LGBT+ people.

In March, Pence hit back “attacks” on his wife, Karen Pence, for teaching at a school that discriminates against gay children.

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere claimed earlier this week that Mike Pence isn’t “anti-gay” because he had lunch with gay Irish leader Leo Varadkar and his partner.

He tweeted: “For all of you who still think our VP is anti-gay, I point you to his and the Second Lady’s schedule tomorrow where they will join Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Dr. Matthew Barrett for lunch in Ireland.”

Human Rights Campaign hit back: “We’ve all shared a meal with people we fundamentally disagree with out of obligation. One word: Thanksgiving.

“This lunch has nothing to do with LGBTQ rights, it’s literally just with an LGBTQ person.”

More: Iceland, Johanna Sigurdardottir, LGBT, Mike Pence, Reykjavic

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