The Advocate
September 6, 2013

President Obama today complimented the work of Russian LGBT and other human rights activists when he met with a group in St. Petersburg, saying their efforts are “critically important.”

“I’m very proud of their work,” he said, according to a White House press pool report. “Part of good government is making sure we’re creating a space for civil society.” He also noted he has much in common with the activists. “I got my start as a community organizer, somebody who was working in what would be called an NGO in the international community,” he said. “I got elected president by engaging people at a grassroots level.”