Gay protesters from the group Queer Nation disrupted a “Moscow investment” meeting today at the prestigious Princeton Club in New York City.
The meeting was meant to attract more foreign investment to Russia’s beleaguered economy, but instead became a lightning rod for the ongoing criticism of Russia’s draconian crackdown on its gay and trans citizens.
One by one the gay activists stood up during the meeting and publicly criticized businesses thinking of investing in Russia. The activist would then be ushered out by security, only to have another activist stand up to be heard. A total of three activists disrupted the panelists from the Moscow Department for Foreign Economic and International Relations.
“In my experience, anti-gay bigots are dishonest and corrupt as well,” said Queer Nation member Duncan Osborne to the panel. “What assurances can you give investors that their money will be safe in a country with minimal, if any, rule of law?”
At one point, the head of the Moscow foreign economic department laughed at the gay protesters’ concerns.
“This is not funny,” Mark Milano, another protestor, told the audience. “You should be divesting, not investing in Russia.”
At least one attendee in the audience decided to weigh in in support of the current “gay genocide” thinking in Moscow – a theory endorsed by Russian President Vladimir Putin – that recognizing the civil rights of gay people will turn all Russians gay, and no one will ever have a baby ever again, thus bringing the nation to ruin – yes, they actually believe this.
“Gay culture should not be promoted because it will destroy the population of the educated classes.”
(While Queer Nation thinks the man who yelled that was an American, his word choice, about the “classes,” sounded more Russian to my ears.)
After the activists were removed, one Princeton Club attendee joked: ”Now let’s listen to the lesbians.” And the audience dutifully laughed.
As you likely know, the Russian government, from Putin to the federal and state legislatures, has decided to gay-bash their way into popularity with new anti-gay laws that are helping to foment a climate of anti-gay hate in the country. As a result, we’ve seen a string of anti-gay hate crime, including a series of vicious kidnappings.
Clearly not the kind of business climate that corporate America is looking for, one in which their own employees will be threatened with jail, or worse.
Here’s video of the protest: