HomoQuotable - Barney Frank
His Excellency Vladimir V. Putin
President of the Russian Federation
4 Staraya Square
Moscow 103132 Russia
Dear President Putin,
We write as members of the United States Congress to express our dismay over the riots and violence against gay and lesbian marchers in Moscow during a gay pride parade in late May.
It seems to us evident that any government of the people would seek to protect all people, so we were very disappointed that Moscow mayor Luzhkov claimed in denying the parade permit that he would not be able to ensure the safety of the marchers.
We believe that the mayor's public statements and his banning of the parade itself--as well as the fact that provocative and violently anti-gay statements by religious leaders and others went unrepudiated by elected officials--helped create a situation in which violence against gay and lesbian people was in fact more likely to happen, if not inevitable.
In fact, given reports that some police stood by while gay and lesbian marchers were attacked, it is difficult for us to believe that the police were unable to protect the marchers, but instead were simply unwilling to do so.
We hope you agree that violence against people based on sexual orientation--people who are doing no harm to anyone else--is outrageous and not acceptable. We urge you to publicly make clear this sentiment to those who would seek to do harm to gay and lesbian individuals, to public officials and civil leaders who provoke or inadequately respond to such violence, and to the gay and lesbian citizens of Moscow and beyond who deserve to live, gather and associate without fear of violence.
REP. BARNEY FRANK
JMG: The above letter was co-signed by 49 other members of Congress. (via- Advocate.com)