"Russian LGBT activists have no voice and President Obama can give them one!"
Next week the G- summit will be held in Belfast with the usual topics of trade, terrorism, Syria, transparency and finance. The agenda has been in place for months. British Prime Minister David Cameron is hosting the summit and has the power to add or subtract from the topics to be discussed with the eight world leaders.
President Putin will be attending and after this past week in the DUMA, LGBT equality should be added to the agenda.
The situation in Russia for LGBT equality is as grave as any of the recent legislation in African nations.
Last week, without dissent, Russian legislators voted to ban any public display of LGBT rights, any mention of the issue and any issue that is 'offensive' to the Russian Orthodox Church. Without question, Russia has become the most repressive society among the major nations attending the Summit and for that matter anywhere in the world.
From the Associated Press here are some of the measures included in the bill that passed the DUMA without one 'no' vote.
The legislation will impose hefty fines for providing information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to minors or holding gay pride rallies. Those breaking the law will be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($156) for an individual and up to 1 million rubles ($31,000) for a company, including media organizations.
Foreign citizens arrested under the new law can be deported or jailed for up to 15 days and then deported. European gay rights activists have joined Russians in trying to hold gay pride rallies in Moscow in recent years.
The leaders of the free world must demand that Russian LGBT citizens be treated equally and with respect. That the violence directed toward them by the Russian people AND police be brought to a halt.
President Obama must personally bring the plight of Russian LGBT citizens to the attention President Putin and the world.
Right now in Russia when activists for equal rights speak out they are either attacked by mobs with police assistance or rounded up and place in jail. Russian LGBT activists have no voice and President Obama can be one for them!