Vladimir Putin, a foe of gay rights, has been named Person of the Year by the gay-oriented magazine The Advocate.
The magazine is not a Putin fan, and in fact, has apparently given the Russian president this year-end designation because it considers Putin “the single greatest threat to LGBTs in the world in 2014.”
Separately, as the Inquisitr previously reported, rumors have circulated that Putin is suffering from either cancer of the spine or of the pancreas, since denied by Kremlin officials. A former KGB agent who enjoys near-dictatorial powers, Putin has carefully cultivated a macho image as an outdoorsman and a martial artist.
In its year in review cover story about Putin, The Advocate explained in part…
[Putin] is a man hardwired to intimidate. Nowhere is this tendency more apparent than in his crusade against LGBT Russians. Since winning a third term in 2012, Putin has become ever more autocratic, and his antigay ideology ever more extreme. In June 2013, he signed the infamous antigay propaganda bill that criminalizes the ‘distribution of information…aimed at the formation among minors of nontraditional sexual attitudes,’ with nontraditional meaning anything other than heterosexual. Individual violators are fined anywhere between $120 and $150, while NGOs and corporations can incur fines as high as $30,000. International outrage flared in the months before the Sochi Olympics, in response to which Putin reassured the gay and lesbian community they had nothing to fear as long as they left Russia’s children in peace…
The editorial goes on to cite a Pew study, indicating that nearly 3/4 of Russian citizens “think homosexuality is morally unacceptable.” The influential Russian Orthodox Church, with which Putin apparently has close ties, has strongly denounced same-sex marriage, The Advocate also noted. Patriarch Kirill, the church leader, has previously deemed it the sign of the apocalypse.
In July 2013, Vladimir Putin signed a law prohibiting gay couples in foreign countries where same-sex marriage is legal from adopting Russian children (presumably orphans in many instances). It also similarly ruled out any such adoptions by single persons or unmarried couples irrespective of sexual orientation in countries where same-sex marriage has been legalized.
Separately, the Russian president seems to be on a roll because Forbes has named Putin the most powerful person in the world. Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pope Francis, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel rounded out its top five.
Explained Forbes, “We took some heat last year when we named the Russian President as the most powerful man in the world, but after a year when Putin annexed Crimea, staged a proxy war in the Ukraine and inked a deal to build a more than $70 billion gas pipeline with China (the planet’s largest construction project) our choice simply seems prescient. Russia looks more and more like an energy-rich, nuclear-tipped rogue state with an undisputed, unpredictable and unaccountable head unconstrained by world opinion in pursuit of its goals.”
Are you surprised that a gay-centric publication would name Vladimir Putin as its person of the year?
[image via Bing]