The Russian government has canceled a long-running foreign student exchange program after a gay Russian teen has sought asylum in the United States.
The US government-run Future Leaders Exchange (Flex) program has brought 23,000 students aged 15 to 17 from former Soviet countries to study in American schools and live with local families for one academic year, including about 8,000 students from Russia.
This particular 17-year-old came to live with a host family in Michigan, and soon met an older gay couple through the local church. The two men — veterans who had previously adopted two boys — offered to assume legal guardianship of the teen and fund his college education in America.
But in typical form, Russian authorities are smearing the incident as something predatory. Because when in doubt, just call gay people “recruiters.”
In an interview with the official Russian government newspaper, children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said the 17-year-old student left his host family to live with the two men, “and they gradually developed – how can I say this carefully – close friendly relations.”
The Russian state news agency Itar-Tess also reported that the boy met with his mother in the presence of local lawyers to tell her he was defecting, saying, “As far as the embassy knows, these lawyers themselves observe a non-traditional sexual orientation.”
Hey, as long as they’re throwing out unfounded accusations, why not cast as wide a net as possible. Between the two Michigan men and these sketchy “non-traditional” lawyers, we’re up to at least four adult gay men luring an innocent Russian youth down the dark, homosexual path.
Former Flex participant (2012-2013) Anton Meshkov is quoted saying, “It’s absurd to suppose that the program could facilitate the seduction of young Russians.”
via The Guardian