Tuesday, September 3, 2013

President Obama to Meet Russian LGBT Activists

From LGBTQ Nation

Participants include veteran human rights activists Lev Ponomarev and Lyudmila Alexeyeva, and LGBT activists Pavel Chikov and Igor Kochetkov.

While it is not unique or unprecedented for U.S. officials to meet with civil society members or heads of non-governmental organizations on visits abroad, this is believed to be the first time a U.S. President’s itinerary will include a meeting with LGBT groups.

The meeting, scheduled for Thursday in St. Petersburg, follows a summer of tense relations between the two superpowers, and growing international concern and criticism of Russia’s “anti-gay propaganda law,” signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in June.

Last month, in a rare diplomatic rebuke, Obama canceled his Moscow summit with Putin, a move prompted by U.S. anger over Russia’s harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and growing frustration within the Obama administration over what it sees as Moscow’s stubbornness on other key issues, including human rights.

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