Theresa May didn’t mention equality once in her big speech to US Republican leaders

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has addressed a gathering of Congressional Republican leaders on a visit to the US – but didn’t mention the big gay elephant in the room.

The Conservative leader addressed the the annual Congressional Republican retreat in Philadelphia yesterday, ahead of a much-anticipated meeting with Donald Trump today.

Mrs May made much of the “common values” shared by Republicans and British Conservatives in her wide-ranging speech, addressing a number of policy issues.

But while addressing Congressional GOP leaders, who are currently pushing anti-LGBT legislation, all reference to defending equality was conspicuously absent from the speech of the one-time Minister for Women and Equalities .

The leader paid tribute to “the American ideal… that all are created equal and that all are born free”, but focused much of her speech on the principles of “nationhood, family, economic prudence, and patriotism”.

She said: “I speak to you not just as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but as a fellow Conservative who believes in the same principles that underpin the agenda of your Party. The value of liberty. The dignity of work. The principles of nationhood, family, economic prudence, patriotism – and putting power in the hands of the people.

“Principles instilled in me from a young age. Principles that my parents taught me in the vicarage in Southern England in which I was raised. I know that it is these principles that you have put at the heart of your plan for government.

“And your victory in these elections gives you the opportunity to put them at the heart of this new era of American renewal too.

“President Trump’s victory – achieved in defiance of all the pundits and the polls – and rooted not in the corridors of Washington, but in the hopes and aspirations of working men and women across this land. Your Party’s victory in both the Congress and the Senate where you swept all before you, secured with great effort, and achieved with an important message of national renewal.

“And because of this – because of what you have done together, because of that great victory you have won – America can be stronger, greater, and more confident in the years ahead.”

The GOP Platform agreed last year contained some of the most anti-LGBT provisions in decades, attacking same-sex adoption and parenting and opposing a ban on ‘gay cure’ therapy.

The Republican-backed First Amendment Defence Act, which is expected to pass through Congress later this year and which Donald Trump has already pledged to sign, would create ‘religious freedom’ exemptions from anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people.

The speech received a standing ovation.