On Saturday, May 28, 2011, Moscow police violently wrestled and detained global gay rights leaders, including American Dan Choi, Britain's Peter Tatchell and France's Louis-George Tin, for staging an LGBT rights rally near the Kremlin in lieu of a gay pride parade that was banned by the Russian government. LGBT protesters were peaceful, chanting “Russia without homophobia” and wearing t-shirts about love, but were attacked by homophobic people in response, one of them even ripping up a picture of Elton John. The Police went as far as thwarting the LGBT rally from laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Moscow has banned gay pride parades for six years running, and its former mayor has compared gay people to the devil.
Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States, is a strong supporter of LGBT freedom and civil rights, and she recently issued the following statement in response to International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which was celebrated on May 17, 2011:
“On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am proud to reaffirm our support for LGBT communities at home and abroad, and to call for an end to discrimination and mistreatment of LGBT persons wherever it occurs…Whether by supporting LGBT advocates marching in Belgrade, leading the effort at the United Nations to affirm the human rights of LGBT persons, or condemning a vile law under consideration in Uganda, we are committed to our friends and allies in every region of the world who are fighting for equality and justice. These are not Western concepts; these are universal human rights.”
I urge you to tell Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to honor her commitment to our friends and allies in Russia who are fighting for equality and justice and condemn the violation of Russian rights of LGBT expression.
Please also contact her at 202-647-4000.