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Hillary Clinton and Homophobic Moscow Mayor to Inaugurate Monument to Gay American Poet Walt Whitman


Will Hillary Clinton mention the human rights abuses against LGBT people inflicted by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov when she and Luzhkov inaugurate a monument to gay American poet Walt Whitman in Moscow tomorrow?

Luzhkov Luzhkov has said publicly that he suppresses the opinions of gays because they spread AIDS, arrested gays rather than their attackers following a violent 2006 Gay Pride parade, and has branded gays "satanic".

Yet he is erecting a monument to a gay American poet who wrote overtly about sexuality.

UK Gay News reports:

Clinton "The monument to Walt Whitman, an author forever linked to gay culture and its history will be located in the gardens of the Moscow State University, where last May the Mayor ordered the arrest of 32 gay and lesbian activists from Russia and Belarus who were attempting to stage a Slavic Gay Pride. Among the people arrested were also British human rights activist Peter Tatchell from Outrage! in London and Andy Thayer from Gay Liberation Network in Chicago. Mr Luzhkov was accused last week of trying to shut down Moscow’s oldest and most popular gay club. The Club is due to close by November 15."

Said prominent Russian gay activist Nikolai Alekseev: "Hillary Clinton will have a good chance to publicly express her position on gay rights to one of the top homophobic politicians in Europe. I think that no one would understand her silence on the breach of fundamental rights of LGBT people in Russia, the day she inaugurates the monument to a gay poet together with the homophobic Mayor of Moscow."

Walt Whitman for Levi's


Of course, another wonderful gay poet, Mark Doty, took note of this.

And here's an explanation:

"In the first Leaves of Grass he introduced two ingredients thus far unknown to American poetry, at least as directly and significantly as they appeared in Whitman: sex and jobs. The first was inspired by Emerson and the transcendentalists, who said that all nature was an emblem of spirit, or God. If so, why not celebrate sex, which was a part of nature? The second was the American pastime for work. The work of the average: the lawyer, the laborer, the seamstress, the mother, the brother, the sister, even the Irish prostitute. Whitman celebrates what he calls 'the Divine Average' -- probably the most wonderful oxymoron democracy ever produced. ... The poet reasoned that if -- according to transcendentalist doctrine -- everyone was divine because nature was emblematic of God, then all were equal, politically equal, including women, whom Whitman treated equally with men...This idea of equality and self-divinity also meant that one could celebrate himself or herself. And so the first poem of the first edition of Leaves of Grass began: 'I celebrate myself [and sing myself] / And what I assume you shall assume, / For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.'"


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