US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will, together with Moscow’s homophobic mayor, today honour gay American poet Walt Whitman in the Russian Capital, reports GayRussia.ru.
The ceremony, which will see the inauguration of a monument to Whitman, is part of Clinton’s European tour. It will be hosted by Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who has refused to allow Pride parades to take place in Moscow, calling such events “satanic”.
Whitman, who lived from 1819 to 1892 and is considered to be one of the most influential poets in the US, is widely thought to have been gay or bisexual by most of his biographers.
Ironically, the monument is located in the gardens of the Moscow State University; the same place where 32 LGBT activists were arrested last May for attempting to hold a Slavic Gay Pride event.
“Hillary Clinton will have a good chance to publicly express her position on gay rights to one of the top homophobic politicians in Europe,” said Nikolai Alekseev, organiser of Moscow Gay Pride.
“I think that no one would understand her silence on the breach of fundamental rights of LGBT people in Russia, the day she inaugurates the monument to a gay poet together with the homophobic Mayor of Moscow,” added Alekseev.
Clinton has previously promised to work towards ending discrimination against LGBT people around the world.
Moscow’s gay community is also up in arms over the impending closure of the largest gay club in the city, Club Chance. Activists claim that the closure is as a result of pressure from government officials.