U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon has been public about being gay and having a history of an eating disorder. Rippon says he felt pressure to fit a particularly body image and sometimes starved himself to achieve it.
In January, Rippon said he would refuse a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence because of his support of "conversion" therapies, attempts to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. Pence denied the claim and expressed support for all athletes:
“The accusation is totally false with no basis in fact," Alyssa Farah, Pence's press secretary, stated. "But despite these misinformed claims, the Vice President will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”
However, an NBC article identifies a message on Pence's website that supports Rippon's claim:
Under the headline "Strengthening the American Family" and just below his stated opposition to same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws protecting "homosexuals," Pence's platform advocates that resources "be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior."
- What's your view of Rippon's statement?
- Explain VP Pence's statement given his documented platform? How do you reconcile the claims?
- In what ways does Rippon demonstrate authenticity?