Justin Trudeau marched in Montreal's gay Pride celebration this past Sunday, alongside Leo Varadkar, Ireland's first gay Prime Minister.
Loud and proud in Montreal! Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is the first foreign leader to march in a Pride parade in Canada. #MTLPride 🇨🇦🏳️🌈🇮🇪 Avec fougue et fierté à Montréal! Le taoiseach d'Irlande, Leo Varadkar, est le premier dirigeant étranger à prendre part à un défilé de la fierté au Canada. #fiertemtl
Varadkar's participation in the parade is part of a three-day visit to Canada. During their time together, the prime ministers also discussed Brexit, abortion, and President Donald Trump.
In 1983, Ireland passed the Eighth Amendment, which granted a fetus equal right to life as its mother, effectively banning all abortion. Both Prime Ministers agree that reproductive rights are human rights, and Varadkar hopes to hold a referendum on the amendment as early as next year.
Varadkar also noted that the U.S. and Ireland have a very close relationship, and he would go to great lengths to maintain it. His open invitation for President Trump to visit Ireland still stands, and Varadkar intends to visit the White House next year in honor of St. Patrick's day. He added that "true friends must be able to speak truth to each other and that cannot be done by ignoring each other."
After his time in Montreal, Varadkar will travel to Toronto to meet with business and tourism leaders, and attend a reception with the Irish community in the city. Trade between Ireland and Canada accounts for roughly 2.5 billion euros annually, and both leaders want to make sure these numbers remain stable.
Regardless of how the politics play out, the simple support of a national leader marching in Pride will make a world of difference to countless LGBTQ citizens who will feel welcomed by their country and communities.