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James Kirchick, an American reporter, openly challenged Russia’s anti-gay laws during a segment on the television news network, Russia Today, on Wednesday.
The Russian news network invited Kirchick to discuss the recent Bradley Manning sentence, but the American reporter surprised producers when he instead used the spotlight to condemn Russia’s anti-gay legislation, says The Huffington Post.
On national television, he announced, “I’m not really interested in talking about Bradley Manning; I’m interested in talking about the horrific environment of homophobia in Russia right now, and to let the Russian gay people know that they have friends and allies and solidarity from people all over the world, and that we’re not going to be silent in the face of this horrific repression that is perpetrated by your paymasters, by Vladimir Putin.”
Kirchick was addressing Russia’s recently passed legislation which outlaws public support of gay rights in the possible presence of children. He has also accused American conservatives of supporting Russia for its oppressive policies.
An anonymous spokeswoman for Russia Today wrote to Politico, “Mr. Kirchick decided to instead use [the time allotted for the Bradley Manning trial] to express his opinion on LGBT rights, a matter which, while important, was entirely unrelated to the subject of the panel. Regretfully, RT had no other recourse but to continue the discussion without him.”
Russia Today did not pay for Kirchick’s taxi to the airport.