Gay Activists In Russia Meet With Obama04:19
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Police detain a gay rights activist during a protest near the State Duma, Russia's lower parliament chamber, in Moscow last January. (Mikhail Metzel/AP)
Police detain a gay rights activist during a protest near the State Duma, Russia's lower parliament chamber, in Moscow last January. (Mikhail Metzel/AP)

President Obama is meeting with gay activists in Russia while he is in the country for the G20 summit.

In June, Russia passed a so called “anti-homosexual propaganda” law which calls for the need to protect children and what the law says is the “natural family.”

Since then, reports of violence against LGBT people in Russia have escalated.

Masha Gessen, who is a journalist in Moscow and has three children with her same sex partner, says new laws have been proposed to remove children from same-sex families and she is considering emigrating with her family as a result.

Gessen says that although Russia is a homophobic society, the anti-gay laws represent a new manifestation of homophobia.

"What we are seeing is not a function of deep seated homophobia in Russian society," Gessen told Here & Now. "The problem is a campaign of hatred that has been unleashed and orchestrated by the Kremlin. It feeds on the homophobia inherent in Russian society."

Guest

  • Masha Gessen, a writer and journalist who lives in Moscow. She tweets @mashagessen.

This segment aired on September 6, 2013.

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