By Melanie Nathan, September 02, 2013.
Buzzfeed is reporting that President Obama will be meeting with Russian LGBT activists while in Russia. The President had cancelled a bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin while there for the G20 summit. I agree with Buzfeed that Obama may anger the Kremlin further by meeting with Russian activists — including from LGBT groups. It is my hope that the President, however sticks to his plans:
Following his cancellation of a bilateral meeting with President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Barack Obama may infuriate the Kremlin further by meeting Russian human rights activists, including LGBT rights groups, during his upcoming trip to St Petersburg for the G20 summit.
Four Russian non-governmental organizations told BuzzFeed Monday they had been invited to the meeting, scheduled for this Thursday at St. Petersburg’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. The groups include veteran human rights activists Lev Ponomarev and Lyudmila Alexeyeva, legal aid NGO director Pavel Chikov, and Coming Out, a St. Petersburg-based LGBT organization. Another local LGBT group, the LGBT Network, is believed to be attending, though director Igor Kochetkov declined to comment to BuzzFeed, saying that he had been “asked not to say anything.”……..
Obama’s trip to Russia for a summit of the Group of 20 industrialized nations comes amid a deep rift between the US and Russia, not least over the countries’ competing stances on Syria. Obama was due to hold a one-on-one meeting with Putin in Moscow before heading to the summit, but abruptly called that off last month in the wake of deteriorating relations and Russia’s sheltering of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Putin has repeatedly accused members of Russia’s civil society as being in the pay of the U.S. State Department.
Thursday’s meeting is not unique or unprecedented. Obama met with civil society and opposition activists during his last visit to Russia in 2009. George W. Bush met with NGOs during the G8 summit in 2006.
It is believed to be the first time Obama has met with members of the Russian LGBT community. Asked about Russia’s anti-LGBT law in August, Obama told Jay Leno that he had “no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”
According to U.S. Embassy representative did not return several requests for comment.
Another source confirmed to OBLOGDEE that indeed the President will be meeting with the LGBT activists. This is at a time when the majority of Russians are supporting the Anti-Propaganda law, legislation signed by Putin into law this past June. It is widely believed that the signing of the law has caused heightened anti-gay sentiment in Russia, providing further license to vigilante groups to continue to kidnap, assault, torture and out Russian gay teens on Russian social media.
There have been numerous suicides as a result of the trauma of these outings and over a two year period the number is estimated to exceed 400.
The new anti-propaganda law caused the recent detention of Dutch tourists as well as the arrest of a Russian who has been charged under the law.
International activists are staging actions to coincide with the G20 Summit. A large protest is being planned in the United Kingdom. To the best of my knowledge nothing has yet be planned by U.S. Advocacy groups for actions in the U.S.A. to coincide with the G20 summit. There is nothing on HRC’s BLOG or website about the President’s visit or any actions planned to support LGBT Russians to coincide with the G20 Summit. Most of the U.S.A. protests have ben organized by small grassroots groups who do not have any funding. These protests have occurred outside Russian Consuls, San Francisco City Hall, and have called for boycotts of Russian vodka, removal of the Winter Olympics from Sochi Russia and also a controversial action calling for dialogue between San Francisco activists in the Castro and the Russian Orthodox Church, St. Nicholas, which is housed in the Castro .
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By Melanie Nathan, August 26, 2013. Through the Winter Olympics, the world is endorsing Putin’s homophobic and anti-gay regime by coming to the #GulagOlympics at Sochi. The Russian Orthodox Church stands at the front line of the Putin anti-gay machine, encouraging and endorsing laws that persecute, proclaiming an ideal that gay can be ‘prayed away.’ […]
The Noise we are making is working – Keep up the advocacy and activism as SR 18 Urges CalPERS and CalSTRS to End Future Investments in Russia and | Asks International Events, Including the Miss Universe Pageant, to Relocate By Melanie Nathan, August 26, 2013. SACRAMENTO – A resolution introduced by Senator Mark Leno that […]
By Melanie Nathan, August 25 The Russian Church took our protests this Sunday very seriously and below is their response. After you read it you will note that nowhere do they take a single sentence to show care or concern for persecuted LGBTI people in Russia. The Orthodox Church has refused to dialogue with us, […]
By Melanie Nathan, August 26, 2013. Due to the passage of extreme anti-gay legislation and the alarming increase in anti-gay violence in Russia, Equality Florida has called upon all Florida cities to suspend their Sister/Friendship City relationships with Russian cities. Letters have been sent to the mayors of Gainesville, Orlando, Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Tallahassee. […]
Churchgoers flee fearing the wrath of a Rainbow? By Melanie Nathan, August 26, 2013. On Sunday, Gays Without Borders together with members of San Francisco’s LGBT community paid a visit to St. Nicholas Cathedral Church, a Russian Orthodox Church located in the Castro to raise rainbow flags bringing awareness about Russia’s anti-gay laws and to […]
By Melanie Nathan, August 22, 2013. While the less educated on the realities and impacts of boycotting Russia because of its new Putin signed anti-gay laws, are quick to draw conclusions that boycotts are not working, relevant leadership emerges calling for persistent boycotts. Masha Gessen is emerging as the new and prized leadership, an imperative […]
Sunday Protest | Gay Oppressor Russian Orthodox Church lives in the Castro By Melanie Nathan, August 21, 2013. This Sunday morning as San Francisco’s Castro awakens to its persistent rainbow flags, the heartbeat of gay America will show solidarity for Russia’s persecuted LGBT community. Who could have imagined that the Russian Orthodox Church would nestle […]
No longer seen as a legitimate leader in the Russian LGBTI movement due to hack or lack? Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall – Humpty Dumpty had a great fall – All the Kings horses and all the kings men – could not put humpty together again! By Melanie Nathan, August 18, 2013. I was […]
How Many Carrie Prejeans will be at Miss Universe in Russia? By Melanie Nathan, August 10, 2013. Russian President Valdimir Putin has earned a new name – Putin ‘Czar of Homophobia.’ His new anti-gay law and the increase in homophobic violence has led to calls for sanctions against Russia, from boycotts of Russian vodka to […]
“Stephen Fry has called on athletes … to make a symbol at the Games to display their objection to new anti-gay laws.” By Cathy Kristofferson, August 10, 2013 Today’s “UK Supports LGBT Russia” protest in London against Russia’s anti-gay laws and rising homophobia drew an early estimate of 1,100 attending the over 3 hour event. The […]
Following Anti-Gay Crackdown, Leno to Introduce Resolution Urging CalPERS and CalSTRS Not to Make Future Investments in Russia By Melanie Nathan, August 09, 2013. SAN FRANCISCO – Senator Mark Leno, joined by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Senator Ricardo Lara and bill sponsor Equality California, will introduce a Senate Resolution on Monday urging CalPERS […]
More reasons to Boycott Sochi as a venue for the Winter Olympic games 2014 – Six Months Before Olympics Launch, Fresh Concerns about Intimidation REPORT by Human Rights Watch: (Aug 07, 2013.) Preparations for the Sochi Games have been plagued with serious human rights abuses and other problems, many of which have only been brought […]
“The Rainbow Flag is the international symbol of LGBT freedom — it is not an endorsement of repression.” Gilbert Baker By Melanie Nathan, August 08, 2013. We have have written numerous articles on this website calling for a full boycott of Russia due to their legislated persecution of LGBT people. To all of you who […]
Sparking need to increase international outcry and calls for boycotts By Melanie Nathan, August 08, 2013. It would seem that the recent promulgation of anti-gay laws in Russia is spreading in the region. We are receiving reports from Yerevan, Armenia that Armenia’s police have proposed a ban on promoting “non-traditional sexual relationships” in the country. […]
The Facts About Stolichnaya \ What Stolichnaya Execs, its PR Firm and Ad Agency Say About the Brand – What Stolichnaya Execs, its PR Firm and Ad Agency Say About the Brand By Melanie Nathan, August 08, 2013. Updates August 11, 2013. – In its attempts to separate itself from the Russian vodka boycotts, Stoli […]
Ask IOL to move the Olympics from Sochi. By Melanie Nathan, August 07, 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama today criticized a new Russian law cracking down on gay rights activism, saying he has “no patience for countries that try to treat gays and lesbians and transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful […]
Russia Spills Gay Blood We Spill Russian Vodka at SAN FRANCISCO CITY HALL By Melanie Nathan. August 07, 2013. “Russia Spills Gay Blood We Spill Russian Vodka” read my sign today, as I joined my fellow activists from Gays Without Borders, when we poured Russian vodka onto San Francisco’s street outside City Hall and called […]
YOU SPILL GAY BLOOD WE SPILL RUSSIAN VODKA | Noon San Francisco City Hall August 06, 2013. By Melanie Nathan, August 05, 2013. PINKNews is Reporting and we have not yet independently verified: The gay teenager who was kidnapped and tortured by Russian neo-Nazis has died from his injuries it has been claimed. Spectrum Human […]
“The contradiction glares when HRC asks the IOC to ensure “special treatment’ for American athletes and visitors. I find it unconscionable of HRC not to be taking the ultimate stand for a BOYCOTT of the Olympic SOCHI Games in Russia and using their immense power and membership to demand that IOC move the games out […]
Rep. Nadler Leads Bipartisan Letter to Protect LGBT Rights at 2014 Olympic Games in Russia By Melanie Nathan, August 2, 2013 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, lead a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the protection […]
Protest Part of Global LGBT Solidarity Campaign By Melanie Nathan, August 02, 2013. San Francisco, CA — On Saturday, August 3, 2013, at 12:00 pm (noon) San Franciscans will gather at the Russian Consulate at 2790 Green Street (near Baker Street) to protest new anti-gay laws passed in Russia that subject LGBT Russians and foreign […]
“…but if he goes onto the street and starts propagandizing it, then of course he will be held accountable” By Cathy Kristofferson, August 1, 2013 A series of tweets from @r_sport, who bills themselves as the “Official host news agency for @Sochi2014″, alerted me to renewed confirmation that Sochi Olympic athletes will NOT in fact be […]
By Cathy Kristofferson, July 31, 2013 Today kicked off Embassy and Consulate protests in the U.S. against Russia’s LGBT human rights violations with actions in New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. We have blogged on the protests as actions people can take to help raise awareness about the worsening conditions for the Russian […]
10 ways to STOP the Russian terror of Gays By Melanie Nathan, July 26, 2013. Anti-gay sentiment and violence against LGBTI people has been a Russian habit for some time. However in recent months it has escalated with lack of basic law and order, exacerbated by Vladamir Putin’s legislative onslaught through various laws that criminalize […]
“I can’t point to any country of the world today that is a model for the rest of the world, except perhaps for Russia” Scott Lively, radical Christian extremist By Cathy Kristofferson, July 22, 2013 For a while we have been following the ramped up anti-gay extremism taking place in Russia, which culminated with the […]
How will this not happen during the Olympics! By Cathy Kristofferson, July 21, 2013 Updates posted below. So it has begun. Russia today arrested tourists ‘violating’ their new anti-gay propaganda law.About an hour ago, the LGBT Russian Network posted on their Facebook wall: “URGENT NEWS! In Murmansk city (North Russia) 3 Dutch citizens detained by the […]
‘Protecting children from the ”advancement and promotion of homosexuality, especially among minors.”‘ By Cathy Kristofferson, July 09, 2013 A few weeks ago rumor had it that Belarus was looking to be the first country in Europe to re-criminalize homosexuality by amending its Criminal Code, to punish gays with up to 10 years imprisonment and confiscation of their […]
An action to demonstrate the danger of the new anti-LGBT laws By Cathy Kristofferson, July 2, 2013 Amidst current graphic protests, there is a renewed call for the boycott of the Sochi Olympics, as gay arrests continue in Russia following President Putin’s signing into law the nationwide so-called “anti-propaganda bill,” banning the so called ‘promotion’ […]
Clashes lead to arrests and detentions at St. Petersburg “Ravnopraviye” Pride Event By Cathy Kristofferson, June 29, 2013 Today in St. Petersburg, Russia pro-and anti-gay supporters clashed at a gay pride event organized by ”Ravnopraviye” (Equal Rights.) The event had been sanctioned by the authorities. The rally-march was organized to protest recent legislation banning “promotion of non-traditional […]
by Cathy Kristofferson, June 28, 2013 Today 5 same-gender couples applied for marriage licenses in the registry office in the Admiralty Side, a district of St. Petersburg, Russia. Officials at the registry explained that the licenses are only intended for couples of opposite gender and sent them on their way. This is a bold move in […]