On Tuesday, President Obama vocalized concern over Russia’s anti-LGBT government policies on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
When asked about the President’s position on LGBT discrimination in Russia, Obama argued to Leno, “I’ve been very clear that when it comes to universal rights, when it comes to people’s basic freedoms, that whether you are discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, you are violating the basic morality that I think should transcend every country. And I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”
Russia passed a law banning homosexual propaganda recently that could impact the Olympic in 2014. TheInternational Olympic Committee has stated that LGBT athletes and visitors of the 2014 Winter Olympics will not be penalized under extreme anti-gay legislation passed in Russia last month. However, it is not clear how much the Russian government will comply, but Obama said he believes that Putin and Russia have a big stake in making sure the Olympics work. He continued, “One of the things I think is very important for me to speak out on is making sure that people are treated fairly and justly because that is what we stand for, and I believe that that is precept that’s not unique of America. That’s just something that should apply everywhere.”
Media Resources: ThinkProgress 8/7/2013; USA Today 8/7/2013; Associated Press 8/6/2013; Feminist Newswire 7/29/2013