Nigel Campbell's picture

White House: It's Important That Russian LGBT Groups Meet With Obama

U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes spoke out regarding President Obama's plans to meet with civil society groups, including LGBT activist groups while visiting Russia. 

A reporter asked: "Why is it important for the President to meet with  representatives of civil society in Russia?  And how much care and thought went into the selection of these representatives of civil society?"

Rhodes responded:

"Well, I think the United States supports civil society around the world.  And in countries that we visit, we often go out of our way to express our support for civil society. In Russia, in particular, we’ve seen negative trends in terms of the freedom of action for civil society in recent years, so it’s important for the President I think to demonstrate that the United States and many in the international community believe strongly that a vibrant civil society is a significant asset for all countries.

"Saint Petersburg has also been a longstanding location where there’s been a lot of civil society activity.  I’d also note in particular that we wanted to include representatives of the LGBT community in Russia.  Given our serious concerns with some of the recent laws that have been passed and restrictions on activity for gays and lesbians within Russia, we felt it was important to ensure that we were including their voices in a discussion with the President."

Thankfully we have a President that's interested in having these discussions. We hope they'll lead to positive action. 


H/T: Towleroad)