Obama Speaks Out Against Russia’s Anti-Gay LawsBy: Sarah Parrott - August 7, 2013
News-savvy folk (such as the readers here at WebProNews) have surely heard of president Barack Obama’s decision to cancel his one-on-one meeting with Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin. Many argue that the president was taking a stand against Russia’s decision to shelter Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who alerted the nation’s public to the NSA’s unsolicited eavesdropping and intelligence gathering. On Tuesday’s “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, however, the president gave a very different reason for his change in plans; he claimed that the action came from human rights issues.
President Obama was quoted as saying he has “no patience for countries that try to treat gays and lesbians and transgendered persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.” He went on to say that he feels Russia is making a “big mistake” in choosing to enforce the laws and in applying them to the upcoming winter Olympics.
Truthfully, it seems that president Obama’s decision to cancel the one-on-one talks with Vladimir Putin has basis in multiple issues; while Russia’s current record with human rights certainly does play in to the decision, there is no denying that Snowden’s asylum is also a contributing factor. After all, the president did say to Leno that he was “disappointed” in Russia’s decision to shelter the whistleblower. Ultimately, the president’s official reason for canceling the meeting is for many issues, including both human rights and recent political decisions.
What is important to note, however, is that president Obama is putting his foot down when it comes to Russia’s hate-mongering, discriminatory laws, and in a very public manner. His decision to cancel the meeting and to speak publicly about his disapproval towards Russia’s laws is a powerful move that could have big consequences; it is a matter of waiting to see just what those consequences will be, however.