Gay Rights Activists seem to be demanding the Obama Administration to regularly kow-tow to them. That’s the only way I can interpret the blogosphere’s condemnation of Hillary Clinton’s supposed failure to address gay rights in her “meeting” with Moscow’s homophobic mayor, Yuri Luzhkov.
Hillary Clinton did not meet with Luzhkov. She unveiled a statue of American poet Walt Whitman as part of a US-Russia cultural exchange. Luzhkov was there in his role as mayor.
Diplomacy is not highjacking a cultural exchange to publicly lambaste a popular leader for his beliefs, widely held by his constituents. That’s the way to create an anti-American backlash and torpedo US efforts to make real progress on the numerous areas of mutual interest or concern between Russia and America. Diplomacy is about accomplishing your goals.
If you really care about Gay Rights in Russia, rather than demanding public and counterproductive spectacles, ask what the US is doing. USAID provides aid to Russia on projects such as mutual cooperation on HIV/AIDS and grants to grassroots organizations working on human rights issues. These projects could easily include support for gay issues. Providing a grant to a Russian LGBT NGO would be a much more effective way of working towards real change in the treatment of gays in Russian society.
So, what is this about? Change that can be believed in? Or a bunch of hot air that does nothing other than assure the left that the Obama and his administration are flaming liberals of the sort that keep people like Rush Limbaugh in business?