HRC Blog

Sen. John McCain Criticizes Russia’s Anti-Gay Law

senator john mccain, vladimir putinFollowing the publication of a widely-criticized piece in the New York Times by Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Sen. John McCain has responded with an op-ed of his own, condemning Putin and the Russian government for ruling through repression and violence.

Published this morning in the Russian newspaper Pravda, Sen. McCain criticizes the President Putin’s domestic and international policies, including his relationship with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

McCain also condemns the Russian government for passing a law that outlaws public support for LGBT equality.  He writes:

A Russian citizen could not publish a testament like the one I just offered. President Putin and his associates do not believe in these values. They don't respect your dignity or accept your authority over them. They punish dissent and imprison opponents. They rig your elections. They control your media. They harass, threaten, and banish organizations that defend your right to self-governance. To perpetuate their power they foster rampant corruption in your courts and your economy and terrorize and even assassinate journalists who try to expose their corruption. They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn.

Click here to read Sen. McCain’s op-ed in its entirety on the Pravda website. 

In June, a law banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" was passed by Russia’s Federal Assembly and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.  Under the guise of protecting children from "homosexual propaganda," the law imposes fines or jail time to citizens who disseminate information that may cause a "distorted understanding" that LGBT and heterosexual relationships are "socially equivalent." The fines are significantly higher if such information is distributed through the media or Internet.  Foreigners, such as those visiting Russia for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, will not only be fined but also face arrest and up to 15 days in jail, followed by eventual deportation, according to the new law.

Another bill was proposed earlier this month that would make being gay – or being presumed to be gay – a basis for denying parental custody.  The draft bill’s sponsor stated that if a person is gay, he or she should be stripped of parental rights.

To learn more about HRC’s work to expose and repeal Russia’s anti-LGBT law visit www.hrc.org/russia. 

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