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Ear to the Ground

Russian Gays Chide Clinton

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Posted on Oct 14, 2009
Flickr / SEIU International

Hillary Clinton is all the rage with American gays, but their Russian counterparts are disappointed that the secretary of state rubbed elbows with Moscow’s homophobic mayor, who, the AP reports, once said gays “can be described in no other way than as satanic.”

Oddly enough, the purpose of the get-together was a ceremony commemorating gay icon Walt Whitman.  —PZS

The Associated Press:

“Whitman’s poetry is imbued with the spirit of American optimism, the desire to create,” Luzhkov said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. “Whitman did not accept the standards of poetry - he was an innovator.”

It was not clear whether Luzhkov was aware of Whitman’s status as a gay icon, and sponsors of the statue said they were honoring Whitman strictly for his contributions to literature.

“Whitman transcended his sexuality in his art and I would like to thank Mayor Luzhkov for welcoming him in his city and have absolutely nothing to say about those things,” said James W. Symington, a former four-time congressman for Missouri and representative of the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation.

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