Thursday, September 5, 2013

President Obama's quick "hello" to Putin as he arrives in Russia for G20 Summit

That's it, folks!

As President Obama arrived for the G20 Summit, he had what will probably be his only "meeting" with President Putin of Russia in this brief welcome moment with the Russian president.

Due to recent civil rights legislation in Russia, President Obama will not be sitting down with Putin to discuss any specific USA/Russia issues at this summit. BUT Obama will be meeting with LGBT groups from Russia. Good for Obama for showing compassion and outreach to the gays and lesbians of Russia.

Jonathan Capehart has written a great column on the divergence of LGBT rights and issues in Russia and the USA, and how the two leaders have handled the issues differently:

Just as the United States is expanding the reach of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, Russia is hell bent on denying protection to its LGBT people. Take what happened yesterday. In Washington, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that legally married same-sex couples would be eligible for veterans benefits. In Moscow, Alekei Zhuravlev, the deputy of the Russian State Duma, proposed an amendment that would deny parental custody to gay parents.

Each nation is riding a particular wave of momentum. The Supreme Court ruling in June that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional set off a series of decisions that make same-sex couples whole in the eyes of the federal government. Meanwhile, Putin signed into law a bill passed unanimously in June by the Duma that banned “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,” the definition of which is so broad and vague that the lives of LGBT Russians and tourists have been deemed illegal. A few days later, Putin signed legislation banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples from nations that have adopted marriage equality. This prohibition applies to heterosexual couples and single adults from countries recognizing same-sex marriages.

Read the entire essay at

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