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LGBT Activists Protest At The Russian Consul General's House

Tuesday afternoon, activists led by The Stranger's Dan Savage will protestin front of the Russian Consul General's house in Madison Park. The protest is in response to a Russian law passed in June that outlaws "propagandizing non-traditional sexual relations among minors."

Russian authorities have interpreted that language broadly and as a result, people seen as "promoting gay values" have been arrested and subject to violence from police or other Russians. Consul General Andrey Yushmanov declined an invitation to talk with KUOW, however he sent this email to producer Hannah Burn, along with an attached document, "About LGBT Legislation In Russia," with no stated author, but "is a compilation of well-known facts," wrote Yushmanov.

Dear Ms. Hannah Burn, I regret that due to my schedule I can not participate in your program. Nevertheless, I hope that some facts set forth in attachments could be helpful for objective and unprejudiced discussion on a topic that often used toward some political ends rather than to present the public with an objective picture of to-day’s Russia. There are a lot of attempts to use the adoption in Russia of a law that bans propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among children to portray our country as non-tolerant towards LGBT community. That is simply not true. The overall spirit of tolerance towards LGBT-individuals in Russia is well reflected in an article by Austin Ruse, President of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, published in “The Daily Caller” on 7/8/2013. As to the value of protests, I believe they can bring changes only if they’re honest and sincere and not misleading people. There is a flyer calling the people of Seattle to “make some noise and show … support for Russian queers” in front of our Consulate next week. Obviously based on wrong facts it seems to be just “some noise” and waste of time. Indeed there seems to be more sense in the calls to ban Vodka – reduction of alcohol consumption is anyway better. Thank you for your understanding. Best regards, Andrey Yushmanov Consul General of Russia

Marcie Sillman talks with Dan Savage and Crosscut's Matt Fikse-Verkerk about the protest and gay rights in Russia.

Produced by Jeannie Yandel.