Leo Varadkar discusses sexuality in meeting with VP Mike Pence
Mike Pence has been criticised for his controversial views on homosexuality in the past.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has met US Vice President Mike Pence, where he said that he is not judged by his sexual orientation but by his political actions.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting on Thursday morning, Varadkar said that while growing up in Ireland he was always fascinated by the world of American politics, according to RTÉ.
"In many ways it helped to inspire me to believe in the power of politics to do good because ultimately that is what politics is all about," he said.
"It helped inspire me to run for office, to become involved in making laws and driving change."
He also spoke about his sexuality, and how he is judged by his "political actions", rather than anything else.
"But I also knew at the time that I lived in a country where, if I tried to be myself at the time, it would have ended up breaking laws, but today that is all changed.
"I stand here, leader of my country, flawed and human, but judged by my political actions and not by my sexual orientation, my skin tone, gender or religious beliefs," said Mr Varadkar.
In the meeting between the two, Pence then spoke of how he was planning a trip to Ireland, saying: "I am happy to report to the Taoiseach that I have spoken to Mom, first generation Irish-American and mother-of-nine, and she has confirmed that she will travel with us to Ireland and we are making plans to return to my grandfather's homestead as we speak."
Mr Varadkar said: "I really hope you will be able to accept my invitation to Ireland very soon and I can guarantee you a very warm welcome is waiting for you, especially in Co Sligo and Co Clare from where your forebears come. And you absolutely must bring your mother."
Varadkar has now also met US President Donald Trump on his annual trip, where it is expected that he will be using the opportunity to explain Ireland's position on Brexit.