- Supervisors oppose 120-240 tons of bird flu carcasses in Polk County
- Iowa bird-flu farms fall short on containment measures
- Food Companies Fear Bird Flu May Cause Egg Shortages
- California drought prompting state to cut water for farmers with oldest rights
- Boy Scouts leader Robert Gates says ban on gay adults not sustainable
- U.S. vows to continue patrols after China warns spy plane
- Emails reportedly show confidant told Clinton Benghazi attack planned by fighters tied to Al Qaeda
- FBI used Patriot Act to obtain ‘large collections’ of Americans’ data, DoJ finds
- Spy agencies target mobile phones, app stores to implant spyware
Obama to meet with Russian gay rights advocates
President Barack Obama is set to meet with leaders of several Russian social activist groups Friday, an event likely to touch on the sensitive subject of gay rights in the nation amid tensions over Syria.
Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law passed by parliament that bans the public discussion of gay rights and relationships where children might hear it. Violators can be fined and, if they are foreigners, deported.
Obama, who has advocated gay rights and same-sex marriage, has said that “nobody’s more offended than me” by the Russian law.
Critics say the Russian law is so vague that anyone can be prosecuted for wearing a rainbow T-shirt or holding hands in public with someone of the same sex.
At the event Friday in Russia, Obama is due to meet with representatives of groups that support a range of causes, including media freedom, protection of the environment and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.
The controversy over the law is one of several disputes between the United States and Russia, including the question of possible military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Moscow’s decision to shelter National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.