Boehner hosts meeting praising Russia`s crackdown on gays

Republican US House Speaker John Boehner’s office hosted a meeting today in the US House of Representatives to learn Russia’s and Uganda’s “best practices” for terrorizing their gay and, more generally, minority populations.

The meeting by the World Congress of Families was originally set to take place in the US Senate, until Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois intervened last night and canceled the Senate-provided meeting space.

Speaker Boehner then, this morning, offered the anti-gay anti-gay groups meeting space in the US House under his auspices, so that Americans can hopefully someday import the Russian and Ugandan way of dealing with, as the group’s spokesman put it, “the policies of decline, death and disease promoted by the Sexual Radicals.”

Speaker Boehner’s Russia best practices

Here are the Russian methods that Speaker Boehner apparently thinks are worthy of possibly importing to America.

Russian anti-gay legislation

In Russia, the preferred method for dealing with the gay problem is a new law that throws you in jail for being openly gay, or saying, doing, or writing anything that is perceived as pro-gay.

For example, it is now illegal in Russia to wear rainbow suspenders, and the Russian government recently launched an investigation as to whether the flag of its Jewish Autonomous Region broke the anti-gay law because the flag contains a rainbow.

Russia also is now threatening to prosecute a newspaper that reported on a gay teacher being fired, and in its reporting quoted the teacher saying “My very existence is effective proof that homosexuality is normal.” That quote is now illegal under Russian law – because the quote is itself pro-gay – even though it simply quotes the victim of discrimination in an unbiased manner.

The Russians are also considering legislation that would forcibly remove children from their gay parents, potentially affecting several million families in Russia.  The legislation was recently “temporarily postponed,” prlikelyobably because it was causing the Putin government too much embarrassment in the months leading up to the Olympics.  Expect it to come back after the 2014 Sochi Games in February.

Russian government’s tacit approval of neo-Nazi anti-gay violence

The second effective way that the Russians have dealt with their gay problem is by tacitly condoning, and participating in, violence against their gay and trans citizens.

For quite some time now, neo-Nazi have been organizing across Russia to systematically kidnap young gay men and boys and terrorize them through threats of, and actual, violence, including a recent rape with a bottle that was jammed up the rectum of a young gay Russian with a baseball bat.  The rape was intended to “cure” the young Russian of gay gay orientation.

The kidnappings also often involve forcing the victim to drink urine, as another “cure” for being gay.

Kidnapped young gay Russian forced to drink urine by vigilante groups the Russian government refuses to prosecute.

Kidnapped young gay Russian forced to drink urine by vigilante groups the Russian government refuses to prosecute.

Some of the victims have been as young as 15 years of age:

15 year old gay Russian boy kidnapped, and tortured, by anti-gay vigilantes that the Russian government refused to arrest.

15 year old gay Russian boy kidnapped, and tortured, by anti-gay vigilantes that the Russian government refused to arrest. The kidnaping was filmed and subsequently posted on Russian social media sites.

The Russian government has let the neo-Nazis organize nationwide with no real threat of prosecution.  The vigilantes happily include their faces, and images of their easily-recognizable town, in their videos, knowing the government will do nothing.  In fact, the man who is putatively organizing the nationwide effort is well-known in and out of Russia.


The final lesson that has apparently impressed Speaker Boehner enough to host this august meeting is Russia’s systematic and violent abuse of any minority considered “non-white” (which, in Russia, is practically anyone not blonde).

In addition increasing violence against migrant workers, the neo-Nazi groups are now targeting foreign gays based on race, including this young South African who was held hostage, had his head shaved, was forced to run like some stereotype of an African t, then had a watermelon shoved in his face, presumably because he’s black.  The attack on him, was videotaped and posted on Russian social media, with the perpetrators faces in clear view, as they always are.  Yet again, there is no news of any Russian arrests.

Russian vigilante groups have organized around the country to kidnap young gay people and terrorize them.

Russian vigilante groups have organized around the country to kidnap young gay people and terrorize them.


Wiretapping of American human rights advocates

The final admirable lesson that Speaker Boehner apparently wishes Americans to learn from Russia is the secret wiretapping of human rights group, including Americans.

Speaker Boehner’s Uganda best practices

Uganda’s efforts to eradicate gays, which Speaker Boehner apparently so admires, is more direct than the Russian way.

In Uganda, the legislative efforts have focused on putting gays to death – legislation that one of the “leaders” attending the Speaker’s meeting has praised.

Russian vigilantes show off a young gay boy they claim to have abducted and then doused with urine after entrapping him via a gay social media site. Reports from Russia suggest the boy may now be dead.

Russian vigilantes show off a young gay boy they claim to have abducted and then doused with urine after entrapping him via a gay social media site. Reports from Russia suggest the boy may now be dead.

Like the Russian anti-gay law, the proposed Ugandan legislation would make it illegal to say anything critical of the measure.  But unlike the Russians, who have chosen to use (mostly) third parties to exact violent revenge on its gay minority, the Ugandan legislation includes the death penalty for crimes as simple as renting an apartment to a gay couple that then has sex in the apartment, or the “crime” of a gay person having sex with a person with a disability.

Russian vigilantes kidnap and attack a young gay Russian they first stalked on a local social media site.

Russian vigilantes kidnap and attack a young gay Russian they first stalked on a local social media site.

Again, these are the “best practices” that Speaker Boehner felt were so laudatory, and so important to potentially import to America.

Keep all of this in mind the next time anyone tells you that the Republican party has changed, that the Republican party isn’t racist, and that the Republican party isn’t run by a bunch of hateful old men.  Because it is.

Russian anti-gay thugs kick an LGBT rights activist. (Photo by Ilya Varlamov, with permission)

Russian anti-gay thugs kick an LGBT rights activist. (Photo by Ilya Varlamov, with permission)

And while it’s great that Republican Senator Mark Kirk is really the hero of this story, Mark Kirk doesn’t run the Republican party.  Hateful, intolerant, bigots like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Ted Cruz run the Republican party.  And there’s no indication of that changing anytime soon.

(I’m told that in order to actually see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me – so say the experts.)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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79 Responses to “Boehner hosts meeting praising Russia`s crackdown on gays”

  1. scottrose says:

    Sign and share this petition to DEMAND that #Regnerus stop
    attacking April DeBoer and her family

  2. Abigail Drew Patridge says:

    Yup. Cuz. Good luck rallying any kind of support if it’s not voting a new party into office who’ll take a real stance against this. Which… by the way, is what I’m helping work on doing.

  3. jaichbin says:

    So instead of rallying support to help these victims we get into a stupid argument?

  4. animalaura says:


  5. animalaura says:


  6. The_Fixer says:

    Well, lots of Republican people are apparently obsessed with gay sex, that doesn’t make them all gay. It just makes them somewhat prurient, ill informed, moral police-ish and way too nosy.

    Yes, there are closeted Republicans who worked against us out there, history shows us that (Ken Mehlman, one that quickly comes to mind). It bothers me greatly, of course.

    But I’ve noticed that a lot of people make that statement regarding many of our enemies without having proof or thinking it through, in my opinion. And when one says that, it becomes an accusation. Accusations are not made about innocuous personal traits – they are made about something that is supposed to be wrong. Being gay is not wrong.

    I think that the issue of being closeted is different than actively working against gay people. You don’t have to be a closeted gay person to work against gay peoples’ civil rights. you can be a regular, plain-old A-hole.

    Which is what I think Boehner is – a regular, plain-old A-Hole, not necessarily gay.

  7. mike31c says:

    Because Boner is obsessed with gay sex perhaps?

  8. The_Fixer says:

    It might be interesting to hear why you think that he is gay.

  9. Tillmann Puschka says:

    Boehner is gay himself- self hatred is the name of the game.

  10. Tillmann Puschka says:

    still living in the middle ages, are we?

  11. Stev84 says:

    Not by law. It’s an ideal. One that the country has never lived up to.

  12. OtterQueen says:

    What happens to a person that makes them do shit like this?

  13. 4th Turning says:

    Comments seem all over the map. I count at least a million in I.Q.’s?
    Can’t we put our heads together and figure out something effective we can do?
    Certainly we are already of one heart…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yep, we’re in a lot of trouble – that’s why Boner wants to throw out a smokescreen now. Boner is great at obstructing real discussion.

  15. Abigail Drew Patridge says:

    I have quite a bit of background in world history thank you. Probably more than you if you think the Dems are any better. They’re actually worse in a way, because they’re much much smarter about it.

  16. Abigail Drew Patridge says:

    You BOTH have misunderstood me. I mean that seriously there are people trying to ARGUE that? As in like. How freaking deranged can a human possibly get. Try not to be so quick to jump to confusions, else you will come off as assholes.

  17. Skip Patterson says:

    Oh, well then she should come back when she obtains some degree of background in world history.

  18. lynchie says:

    Thank you troll from the right

  19. Aknishtus says:

    All of it idiot!

  20. ComradeRutherford says:

    Just like Jesus’ words in the Bible, they claim that doesn’t exist.

  21. Skip Patterson says:

    As real as a heart attack.

    What part about my post did you not understand?

  22. Abigail Drew Patridge says:

    Are you for real? wtf.

  23. rmthunter says:

    Kirk didn’t “sponsor” the meeting in any meaningful way. The group requested a meeting space and went to him because they are based in Illinois (officially, at least), and they’re not going to go to Dick Durbin (Democrat). This is more or less routine — senators and representatives do this for home-state groups all the time. He was never scheduled to participate, and once Kirk’s office became aware of the nature of the group, they pulled the plug. Keep in mind that Illinois Republicans are not like, say, Texas Republicans — we have our wingnuts, but they have short shelf-lives. And mostly, we don’t put them in Congress.

    Boehner’s just trying to show how tough he is, standing up to the “liberals” to get some teabagger cred. And he’s an A-hole anyway.

  24. maria877 says:

    my roomate’s
    step-sister makes $83/hr on the computer. She has been laid off for nine
    months but last month her pay was $19054 just working on the computer for a
    few hours. find out this here

  25. HelenRainier says:

    Several years ago the Department of the Army came out with a “rainbow” award called the Army Service Ribbon. You were awarded this for basically being in the Army for a specified period of time. One of the Navy guys who worked in my Reserve Center said that subsequent awards would feature NANU NANU clusters. I roared laughing about that one.

  26. HelenRainier says:

    Oh My God. Don’t we have enough serious issues that must be addressed for Boehner to waste OUR time and OUR money on this kind of trash?

  27. Skip Patterson says:

    Not any relationship to Kris are you?

  28. Skip Patterson says:

    Yeah that’s what I thought at first but when I did a search on it there are several citations including CBS.

  29. Skip Patterson says:

    Weather or not something is Constitutional is not a problem for them as their standard is, if we say it’s Constitutional, then it is.

  30. Skip Patterson says:

    Not really as American exceptionalism is just another way of saying Master race.

  31. Skip Patterson says:

    This should be posted on every right wing website as they argue that Hitler, et al, supported homosexuality and abortion because they were socialist.

  32. Skip Patterson says:

    This is more than concerning this is scary. And while I am not a gay man I fully understand when people stand by and let this happen to one group it will not be long before this practice is unleashed on other groups.

  33. Chris W. Luczak says:

    i will stand guard over my fellow man and woman should this take root! none shall be harmed while i still breath

  34. vickif says:

    I guess they don’t understand LIFE LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. That is suppose to be guaranteed to every American.

  35. Benjamin Bee says:

    And yet, athletes, tourists, media and sponsors Americans, Canadians and Europeans will go to SOCHI 2014? One has to be pretty dumb for that.

  36. pappyvet says:

    In 1936 Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler created a Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion: Special Office (II S), a subdepartment of Executive Department II of the Gestapo. Smells familiar

  37. The Open Door says:

    Easily since the Ray-gun administration.

  38. The Open Door says:

    If one million people gave $5……

  39. Joe says:

    America is such a bag of shit. What ever happened to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?” The ability to harrass and intimidate people, based on their identity, is not an inalienable right. Boehner
    should be tried for assault and hate crimes. The EU is so much more advanced and just than we are.

  40. The_Fixer says:

    If I believed in Hell, I’d say that Boehner should burn in it.

    This deal, refusing to allow a vote on ENDA, modifying house rules, the budget and debt ceiling fiasco, just to name a few, all point to the fact that this guy should not be in office.

    I wish there were some kind of legal mechanism to revoke his speakership. Of course the next guy in line would likely be no better. But damn, I’d just like to see him punished.

  41. angst in Berwyn says:

    Ban rainbow suspenders? There go reruns of Robin Williams in “Mork and Mindy.”

  42. ComradeRutherford says:

    The GOP has long been on the record as being against gay people. If they could get away with it they’d legalize murder of gays, like Russia has done.

  43. JayRandal says:

    Americans should converge in mass on Washington-DC to protest demands for Rep. Boehner to resign as Speaker of the House. He is a vulgar swine like the creepy mayor of Toronto, Canada.

  44. Monoceros Forth says:

    Ten seconds on Google News brings up many stories about Boehner’s hosting this event. Proofreading is a thing, as is ordinary reading–I suggest you give the latter a try.

  45. jomicur says:

    If nothing else, the proposition that the US has somethign to learn from Russia and Uganda shoots “American exceptionalism” to hell, no?

  46. Caitlin Verbilla says:

    I’d like to see your sources. Also proofreading is a thing.

  47. Thomas McCain says:

    Yeah, the Republican party has finally gone off the deep end. Oh wait, they already have. This is horrid.

  48. Heather Baker says:

    Oh, look we found HIMLER… we already know that the next Hitler is either going to be split between the Ugandan government and Putin, Himler is apparently going to be Boehner… amazing how horrible this world is turning out. I think it’s time we get that psycho out of office before he starts joining up ranks with the next Reich… next up will be genocide…oh wait… that’s already happened in Uganda.

  49. Ken Berry says:

    Remember, Boehner does this with the support of his caucus. Share this with your Representative. Let them know is NOT going to happen.

  50. David Kelly says:

    no kidding, I’ve lost count of how many “papers, please” moments I’ve had.

  51. Bill says:

    Is this some kind of joke? Boehner is an ass but really? I mean he’s crazy but is he really this crazy? WTF???

  52. cleos_mom says:

    According to the link to BuzzFeed provided:

    “Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said that providing space for the event
    did not suggest the speaker is *necessarily* in support of their views.” (emphasis added)

    There probably wasn’t a physical nudge and wink, but was it really needed?

  53. Anonymous says:

    That’s what I thought too!

  54. Badgerite says:

    Is Boehner aware that all of those ‘best practices’ would be unconstitutional here?

  55. Hue-Man says:

    As with the Sen. Portman story, I’ll cheer on people who publicly take a stance against gay-haters. Gay-supportive actions by those who have previously been homophobic or silent about it get media attention. I don’t think Kirk’s actions deserve the “hero” designation (yet) but, as with Portman, he gives political cover to others who fear retaliation if they are seen as gay-friendly. Ironically, it’s much like the campaigns of yester-year to encourage gays and lesbians to come out publicly to put more human faces on the gay community.

    There are LGBT community members who can never forgive gays who come out later in life. There are also loud voices critical of Portman, Kirk and others because of what they did or didn’t do in the past. I prefer to look to the future – they are unlikely to change course again and in the meantime might persuade true haters like Boehner to freeze out the hate groups who make gay people’s lives worse in the USA and encourage the abuse and murder of gays abroad. (Given Boehner’s recent actions, including BLAG/DOMA, I’m not optimistic about his conversion.)

  56. Anonymous says:

    Wait, this is serious?

  57. L says:

    This the sloppiest piece of journalism I’ve seen in a very long time. You’ve given nothing to back up your complaints against Boehner – like a transcript from the meeting – just a lot of hooey and innuendo. How about some actual quotes from the Speaker with video, tape or transcript of this meeting to verify your claims? I wouldn’t be surprised if Boehner didn’t even attend. Really, John, this is indefensible. Just provide some verifiable data please!

  58. Some Devil says:

    Kirk didn’t know what this group stands for. They call themselves “World Congress of Families”, not “Gay Hating Congress”. Only after GOOGLING their name like you did, did his office find out what this group actually stands for. That’s when they withdrew the offer for the meeting. Watch Maddow’s show from Friday 11/15.

  59. pappyvet says:

    “Speaker Boehner then, this morning, offered the anti-gay anti-gay groups meeting space in the US House under his auspices.”
    You cant sleep with pigs without getting shit on you.

  60. Cathy Kristofferson says:

    Okay, so I don’t understand how “Republican Senator Mark Kirk is really the hero of this story”. He is the original sponsor of the U.S. Senate Dirksen building meeting room for his fellow Illinoisans World Congress of Families. Kirk seems to have bailed on being their sponsor once the news got out. How does that make him a hero? He sponsored a hate conference in a U.S. Senate building. He doesn’t have the backbone to stand up for what he apparently believes in privately, or he doesn’t bother to vet groups who ask him for access to the U.S. Senate. Google World Congress of Families and you’ll see they were just in Russia in October planning their next conference in the country they want the U.S. to emulate as they discussed today in Boehner’s building instead.

  61. Ninja0980 says:

    Boehner got way too much of a pass during this government shutdown and on issues such as immigration and gay marriage.
    The Tea Party is a nice smokescreen folks but Boehner was a racist and homophobe long before the tea party came onto the scene and he’ll be one long after they’ve left.

  62. Bob Jones says:

    These things are so deplorable! I feel so bad and I really wish I could do something, but I’m a poor college student who has no time for a social life. I’d like to donate to someone but 5$ a year won’t make a difference and I don’t really know anyone to tell about these tragedies. I feel so helpless not being able to help these people.

  63. Indigo says:

    Okay, we’re living in a police state. We don’t talk about it. Just to be sure the program is working, let me say directly that I’m not entirely sure what a “sexual radical” is but I’m pretty sure I am one. The police state already knows that about me so I’m in no trouble for now.

    I know . . . it sounds crazy when you put it that way but I’m pretty sure that’s the way it works.

  64. Bill_Perdue says:

    That’s another way the two cultures are similar. Racism and homophobia are woven into the very fabric of the US, into both parties, the cults and have a wide following that used to divide and conquer. Over time the groups most targeted by the bigots may change but both capitalist societies constantly use divide and conquer to divert struggles for change.

    Russia is the same with one key difference, political literacy is much more informed there in the sense that they had a revolution and then saw all of it’s gains wiped out, first by Stalin and then by Yeltsin and Putin. The US is catching up fast.

  65. Monoceros Forth says:

    “World Congress of Families”. Oh, brother. Once again, the word “Family” in the name of an organization is code for, “We’re obsessed with other persons’ sex lives.”

  66. Houndentenor says:

    All this in spite of the fact that Russia’s greatest poet (Pushkin) had an African ancestor and their greatest composer (Chaikovskii) was gay.

  67. Bill_Perdue says:

    Racism directed against Africans and other people of color and a strong current of anti-Semitism were always problems before the fall of the USSR. There’s nothing new there. Shortly after the 1945 victory over German fascists the predecessor of the KGB and FSB said there was a ‘Doctor’s Plot’ of Jewish doctors aimed at killing Stalin. Anti black racsim is on the rise along with the growth of ultralight skinheads and the reemergence of the orthodox clergy from the sewers of Russian society.

    A recent survey found that “...over half of Africans in Moscow had been physically attacked in the past.[21] Attacks in Moscow Metro are common, and “Monkey” insults are so frequent that students have ceased reporting them.” The murders of people of color in Russia are down (109 in 2008 vs 18) last year as the skinheads and the orthodox cult re-target and focus on our LGBT communities and on left. That too is similar to the US where racist murders are down (but far from infrequent if you include police murders) and violence against gay communities is on the rise. (The difference is that the left, while being exhaustively surveiled and harassed, are not yet being murdered, with the exception of Arab and muslim Americans.

    The groups that will change things in Russia and in the US are remarkably similar, given all the differences in culture and historical development. Those groups are a reviving left and trade union left that in Russian rejects the Putinites and the CPRF and in the US the same groups which reject the Democrats and Republicans.

  68. cole3244 says:

    a decade, you are too kind to the fascists but i understand, for me it was 1980 that was my wake up call.

  69. Whitewitch says:

    Well just when you think they can not be any bigger turds – they surprise ya and voila! They are bigger turds. CongaRats Mr. Speaker you are not officially a hater !

  70. They saved the meeting at the last minute, they didn’t just ‘schedule’ it. They saved it and hosted it. And you’re right, they wouldn’t host a MoveOn meeting.

  71. FLL says:

    Boehner is using this opportunity and others to making it crystal clear that he will not bring ENDA to a vote as long as he is speaker. I’ve been expecting Boehner to say something to the effect of “over my dead body,” and during the last several days, he has. Yesterday, he was asked by a reporter from the gay press (Washington Blade) whether he would bring ENDA to the floor, and he answered, point blank, that he sees “no basis or need” for ENDA (link here). He went the extra mile to be insulting, telling the reporter that ENDA would be the basis for “frivolous law suits” and that—suspend your disbelief—”people are already protected in the workplace.” Today Boehner removes any lingering doubt about his determination to see to it that ENDA never reaches the House floor as long as he is speaker by hosting a conference of homophobes who want to emulate Putin’s policies.

    Don’t even bother imagining that Boehner is only waiting until after the Republican primaries in spring. The Tea Party candidates may be unsuccessful in the spring primaries, but it won’t make any difference to Boehner. He’s made it clear that he opposes ENDA because he wants to. It’s very personal. Obama has no strategy concerning ENDA that could possibly involve cooperation with Boehner. So what is left for Obama? Let’s examine the options:

    (1) Waiting for the spring Republican primaries in the vain hope that Tea Party failures would melt Boehner’s heart enough for him to introduce ENDA in the House. Pure fantasy. Only a fool would bank on this happening.

    (2) Blackmailing gay Americans by holding the ENDA executive order hostage until the 2014 elections? That wouldn’t look too good. It would look like extorting the gay ATM and gay votes, which may very well backfire.

    (3) Issue an ENDA executive order before or at the time of the State of the Union Address. This is the only sane option for Obama, seeing as Boehner has delivered his “over my dead body” proclamation in no uncertain terms.

  72. nicho says:

    Christians = Taliban = Russian thugs. No difference.

  73. nicho says:

    It reminds me of the time I was watching a “Matrix” movie with a friend. He was watching it. I was just there. There was a guy in some courtyard-type place fighting another guy. All of a sudden, the opponent turned into two guys. Then, he turned into four. Pretty soon, there were 10. Then 20. Then 50. And this one guy is fighting them all off. When it got to 50 or so, my friend said, “OK, this is getting ridiculous.” WTF? It wasn’t ridiculous when he was fighting 10 guys? The GOP has been a criminal enterprise for over a decade.

  74. BeccaM says:

    Sadly no. It’s real.

  75. cole3244 says:

    you’re done now, where the hell have you been under a rock.

  76. Fentwin says:

    “One of the duties of the Speaker’s office is scheduling rooms throughout the Capitol complex, and we routinely provide a forum for discussion of public policy issues from across the political spectrum, including for liberal causes,” Steel said. “This administrative task obviously does not imply endorsement of any particular point of view.”

    “…Including liberal causes”? I may be reading this wrong, yet is Mr. Steele implying that homophobia is a conservative cause?

  77. cold340t says:

    REALLY? This has to be from The Onion, right? Please say it ain’t so, pretty please!

  78. samiinh says:

    It’s time for Boner to be retired.

  79. OMFG. I am so done with the GOP.

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