Moscow Takes a Break From Ukraine Fighting to Hate on Gays Some More

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Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images

Fresh off (not) waging war in Ukraine, Russian officials hosted an international forum on “Large Family and Future of Humanity” this week that ended with a call for the international adoption of anti-gay laws.

Russia’s anti-gay policies may have taken a back seat to it’s annexation of Crimea this summer, but they’re never far from the Kremlin’s worldview. In fact, the forum was hosted in part by Vladimir Yakunin, a close advisor Vladimir Putin’s and head of a state-run company.

A glowing article on the website LifeSiteNews reports that in addition to Yakunin, the conference drew a wide range of high-ranking officials, including the vice-speaker of the Duma and the minister of culture. It’s a miracle the president himself — a strong proponent of anti-gay policies — didn’t make an appearance.

In a declaration addressed to “leaders of all faiths, To the architects of public opinion, To those at the helm of professional, women’s and youth organizations, To the UN General Assembly, To the heads of state and legislative bodies and To the mass media” issued at the end of the conference, attendees of the forum pushed for the legitimization of “meaningless” (childless) sexual relationships.

The resolutions ends with a how-to list for riling up anti-gay sentiment around the world, like, you know, the government already did in Russia. It specifically instructs like-minded individuals to push for legislative initiatives that would define “family” in terms of heterosexual relationships, ban surrogacy that might help same-sex couples have children, and condemn children to foster homes and orphanages rather than place them with same-sex parents. In the name of family.

The recommended courses of action have already been implemented in Russia, capped off by a nation-wide ban on “gay propaganda,” which was signed into law by Putin in 2013.

What’s more jarring, though, is that the meeting was originally organized under the auspices of the U.S.-based World Congress of Families, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center but sees itself as an organization promoting family values. (Another American, National Organization for Marriage spokesman Brian Brown, actually spoke at the event.) But at the last minute, the World Congress “suspended” its meeting and it was reorganized under a different name, because of war and sanctions and stuff.

Americans were also still on the organizers list less than a week ago, prompting questions about whether they inadvertently violated anti-Russian sanctions by cavorting with the country’s most virulent homophobes.