The Daily Caller published a column cheering on Russia's brutal and draconian crackdown on LGBT people, downplaying concerns about state sponsored anti-gay violence and criticizing American activists for meddling in Russia's affairs.
Russia has enacted a number of extreme anti-LGBT measures in the past few months, including laws that prohibit the dissemination of "gay propaganda" to minors and ban the adoption of Russian children by people from countries that allow same-sex marriage.
The vague language of the "gay propaganda" law, which has been condemned by human rights experts for violating international human rights law, makes it especially dangerous - anything from waving a rainbow flag to holdings hands in public could potentially be considered criminal "propaganda" under the measure. The law has already led to the arrests of several openly gay tourists in Russia. Meanwhile, police continue to violently crack down on gay pride celebrations and homophobic murders remain a constant threat to Russia's LGBT community.
On July 25, the Daily Caller published an op-ed titled "Putin is not the gay bogeyman," written by Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) President Austin Ruse. According to Ruse, international concerns about Putin's brutal crackdown on LGBT people are wildly exaggerated. In fact, Ruse argues, America should be learning from Russia's anti-LGBT policies:
Homosexuality and homosexual acts are totally legal in Russia. Homosexuality is quite open in Russia. What the Russians do not want, and this opposition is widespread, is for homosexuality to be taught to school children or otherwise exposed to school children.
Russians understand that homosexuality exists in their society and always has, even when it was illegal under the Soviets and that it exists in all human societies. What is new and what they resist is the political movement to regularize and even celebrate it. They view this as harmful to children and society.
They are appalled, as are many Americans, at how these sexual practices and lifestyles are celebrated in the United States. The state of California now mandates the teaching of homosexuality to school children. Those individuals and institutions in the United States that oppose the homosexual advance are ostracized and in some cases criminalized.
And under the Obama administration this ideology has now become a part of US foreign policy. Openly gay ambassadors are now placed in largely religious countries. Gay celebrations are now held in US embassies even in countries, like Pakistan, where such parties are calculated to deeply offend legitimate religious sensibilities and beliefs. [emphasis added]
Ruse goes on to criticize American opponents of Russia's anti-gay laws for meddling in Russian affairs and promoting sexual immorality, writing:
America has a bad reputation around the world, particularly among traditional peoples, for many reasons, not the least is the immorality we push through our popular culture and now through our official activities.When many foreigners meet Americans they expect pimps, prostitutes, and pornographers.
While we should and do deplore laws that allow violence against homosexuals, the bottom line for Russia and elsewhere is that there is no human right to teach school children about sexual practices, neither is there a human right to parade your sexual preferences and practices down public streets. All else is legal. [emphasis added]
Ruse is familiar with promoting draconian anti-LGBT legislation in foreign countries. A July 2013 report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) documented Ruse and C-FAM's involvement in defending a measure in Belize that punishes homosexual sex with 10 years in prison.