September 13, 2013

WASHINGTON — The current focus on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s involvement in the international debate over Syria has turned some of the attention away from his country’s own increasingly anti-LGBT environment. As three events in the past 24 hours show, however, Putin’s LGBT problem isn’t going away — and his leadership role on Syria has the potential to raise the LGBT issues to an even more prominent place on the global stage.

First, Putin penned an op-ed in The New York Times. Focused on Syria, the United Nations, and Russia-U.S. differences over how to address the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, the op-ed did not raise LGBT issues.

Focusing on international norms, Putin wrote, “The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter.”