US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

LGBT activists are disappointed that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to address Russian homophobia while inaugurating a monument to gay American poet Walt Whitman in Moscow.

On Wednesday, Clinton attended the ceremony along with Moscow’s mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, who has repeatedly refused to allow gay Pride parades to take place in the city, describing them as “satanic”.

It was hoped that Clinton would bring up the issue at the event where she spoke about Whitman. Instead, she steered clear of the controversy and did not mention Whitman’s sexuality.

“Russia is supposed to be a democracy and she said nothing,” a disappointed Nikolai Alekseev, organiser of Moscow Gay Pride, told the Associated Press.

The monument is located in the gardens of the Moscow State University; the same place where 32 LGBT activists were arrested in May for attempting to hold a Slavic Gay Pride event.

In March Clinton said that the US would actively defend LGBT equality.

“Human rights is and always will be one of the pillars of our foreign policy. In particular, persecution and discrimination against gays and lesbians is something we take very seriously,” she said at the time.

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