Last night I had myself a good cry. The reason being is that watching the news on MSNBC, I saw some of my gay brothers being treated brutally by Russian authorities and anti-gay protestors. It reminded me of the past many years ago when I was beaten because of my sexual orientation, here in the United States, when our own government did not care what happened to me as a gay man.
You are my president, I am so proud of you for standing up, and speaking out in favor of my right to marry the person, I love. I also know that it affects you too, to see LGBT members being persecuted in Putin’s Russia. I am also happy that you chose not to attend the games, along with sending a team of gay athletes to represent the United States at the Olympic Games.
Even though President Vladimir Putin’s government have released gay protesters in light of the opening of the Games, it concerns me that once the Olympics are over with, law enforcement and Putin’s thugs will begin again to arrest and persecute gay men and women, perhaps causing them harm and even death. All this thanks to a propaganda law designed to target gay people.
I do know that many LGBT members are going back into the closet and into hiding, some even fleeing in fear for their lives and their livelihoods. Many may not know where to turn, while some will surely be searching for some place to run to, away from the discrimination, hate and persecution they face if they continue to live under such a repressive government, bent on silencing them and removing their existence from Russian society.
Our nation has always had open arms to the disenfranchised around the world and those who face severe consequences for their political views, race, religion and ethnicity. Perhaps now is a time to add sexual orientation onto that list. I realize Russia is not the only country that persecutes gay people with arrest and other forms of persecution but it is a good place to start.
LGBT members in Russia have tasted freedom, thanks to the fall of the former Soviet Union. Now they face going back into hiding in fear for their lives, losing that freedom they once cherished.
You can make a difference Mr. President, just as you have made such a difference for gay people in this country. Offer political asylum to gay people, not only in Russia but also from any country that persecutes those who are gay, lesbian or transgender with imprisonment, beatings and even death. Perhaps your example will cause other nations, especially European nations closer to Russia, to do the same. We LGBT members as individuals and a community have so much to offer any nation that welcomes us and offers us freedom and equality.
I am not sure you will finally read this open letter but if you do, and if you act upon it, my gay brothers, sisters and I will be forever grateful, as we already are for your courageous stand for equal rights for all people, including LGBT members. Thank You!