Missed Opportunity

Obama Loses His Chance To Confront Putin On Russian Homophobia

President Obama will have to wait for another time to tell Vladimir Putin that the U.S. abhors the rabid homophobia that’s been unleashed in Russia. While the president will be attending an economic summit in St. Petersburg next month, the White House has announced that it is cancelling a summit with Putin, so the face-to-face meeting is off.

According to a statement from the House, “given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, we have informed the Russian Government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda.” The human rights reference presumably covers the antigay violence that has become a defining characteristic of Russian society, although it would have been nice if the reference was explicit.

Obama sent a strong signal about what his message to Putin would have been during his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, saying he had “no patience for countries that try to treat gays of lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”

While the chance to tell Putin directly what he thinks won’t be happening, Obama still has a number of steps he can take to signal the U.S.’s disapproval of Russian homophobia. The questions is, will he take them?

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  • jeff4justice

    Now if only he could cancel his meetings with the lobbyists who own him and who push the corporate agenda of total surveillance society madness.

    All hail the 2-party system charade of lie-based war, slavery, poverty, pollution, and eradication of human rights!

  • Snapper59

    A former KGB agent gives not one shit what a former community organizer thinks.

  • jheryn

    Look, I hate the Russian homophobia as much as any LGBT person does, but there are a million issues that the US and Russia need to discuss. Should it be discussed? Absolutely. Should it be the top priority right now with all the unrest in the Mid East? I would have to say no. The things the US and Russia have to deal with in that area of the world scare me a lot more than homophobia in Russia. I’m in no way saying it should not be a hot topic, but there are other things probably more pressing right now.

  • BJ McFrisky

    @Snapper59: Bingo. It was all for show, anyway. Putin’s never taken Obama seriously, and isn’t likely to start now.

  • ouragannyc

    Human right violation is not the reason why the summit was cancelled.
    It was cancelled/postponed because Snowden got temporary asylum in Russia.

  • ouragannyc

    This is sooo old and sooo boring.
    It doesn’t matter that he was a community organizer.
    He is NOW the president of a world super power.

  • Snapper59

    @ouragannyc: And a Nobel Prize winner!!
    But when he wants a traitor who betrayed his government returned to him:
    “Pleaaaaaasse! Pretty pleeaaaaasse! I’ll be your friend! C’mon!”

    He’s a joke. Nobody worldwide takes him seriously. Which is why they were thrilled to see him placed there.

  • Polyboy

    The only joke is you reciting from Sarah Palin’s political hymnal Snapper 59.

    The only people who claim to not take Obama seriously are people like you you dwell in an echo chamber of their own devising. Which is funny because you’re so compelled to yammer on with the same discredited insults, innuendos, and the like, so people like you are more fixated than people who claim to support him.

    Continue to lie about the biography. It’s all you’ve really got.


    President Obama will deal with this in his own time and pace. You watch Russia is going to be the one that pays for what they have done. Not everything can be done over night.

  • Milk

    @Polyboy: Damn! You should wait a bit for the birth certificate thingy, I swear it’s next.

  • Snapper59

    In Barack Obama’s mind, the ultimate punishment is to deny you the opportunity to meet with Barack Obama. #ExplainingthingsforPutin

    Tweet of the Day.

  • MK Ultra

    Some people on here are so silly.
    Yeah, like Russia doesn’t care about what their biggest competition is doing?
    Everything they’ve been doing so far is purely to antagonize the US
    but they don’t care #learnpolitics

  • hephaestion

    Russian gays of note:

    Nikolai Gogol
    Modest Musorgsky
    Mikhail Kuzmin
    Sergei Eisenstein
    Sergei Diaghilev
    Vaslav Nijinsky
    Nikolai Kliuev
    Metropolitan Serafim
    Marina Tvetaeva
    Sophia Parnok
    Rudolf Nureyev
    Sergei Paradjanov
    Yevgenny Kharitonov
    Mikhail Pletnev
    Sviatoslav Richter
    Gennady Schmakov
    Zinaida Gippius
    Andrei Egunov
    Alexander Shenin
    Alexei Apukhtin
    Nikolai Przhevalsky
    Konstantin Leontiev
    Alexander Ivanov
    Ivan IV (The Terrible)
    Prince Boris
    Gennady Trifonov
    Yevgeny Kharitonov
    Ekaterina Dashkova
    Roman Viktyuk
    Sergey Zarubin
    Yaroslav Mogutin
    Sergei Rachmaninoff
    Vladimir Horowitz
    Sergei Esenin
    Roman Viktiuk
    Evgenii Kharitonov
    Igor Stravinsky

  • Daniel-Reader

    Should Putin be given any diplomatic immunity anymore? Diplomatic immunity presumes the person isn’t committing mass human rights violations, right?

  • tjr101

    Funny republicans love to bring up Obama was a “community organizer” in a demeaning way yet they lost both Presidential elections to the “community organizer LOL

  • Triple S

    @tjr101: Your non mandatory voting system does not allow for real accuracy. Popularity polls for Obama? Terrible. Perhaps if the American population really gave a damn about the actual standing of what Obama does, you wouldn’t get Presidents that people don’t like even though not one quarter of their second term has passed.

  • tjr101

    @Triple S: The elections was never a popularity contest but one thing is for sure, no matter how unpopular Obama gets, republicans will always poll worse. That’s pretty accurate at this time!

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