I’ve come across US-president Barack Obama’s statement that he has no patience for countries that discriminate against LGBT people and that he’s strongly opposed to the recent Russian law which prohibits “homosexual propaganda” (whatever that means). While I am utterly opposed to Russia’s recent anti-LGBT law as you may have already guessed and I appreciate Mr Obama’s clear words on the issue of LGBT rights in Russia I can’t help but think that he conveniently utilised LGBT rights for a political agenda. The relationship between Russia and the USA are currently possibly not the best over the causa Snowden. Given the scale of the affair Mr Obama possibly needs his supporters’ back up and given the mostly left & liberal make up of his supporters LGBT rights are a good cause.
Saudi-Arabia is known for its immeasurable oil wealth as well as its appalling human rights record. In Saudi-Arabia it is not only prohibited to spread “homosexual propaganda” but Saudi-Arabia is one of the countries where homosexuality is considered a criminal offence and death penalty is still executed for homosexual contacts/acts. But in all fairness it’s not only gays who are at the receiving end of Saudi-Arabia’s barbarism.
While the current anti-LGBT climate in Russia needs to be criticised it is even more urgent to not only criticise Saudi-Arabia’s treatment of its LGBT minority but to overall criticise Saudi-Arabia’s long list of human rights violations. I’ve said before that I wonder whether there’s a single human right that is not constantly and systemically violated in Saudi-Arabia.
LGBT rights are not to be utilised in a political poker and people who want to be seen or considered as pro-LGBT or pro-LGBT rights have to insist on LGBT rights continuously and unapologetically.
Mr Obama has no reason to bow in front of the head of such a state and avoiding the “hot” topic of human rights in Saudi-Arabia while loosing patience with Russia makes Mr Obama look like a spineless opportunistic hypocrite.