Bigot of the Year is always troublesome for me. I confess, I do not enjoy looking at and writing about bigots. It weighs heavy on my heart the plethora of bigots to choose from each year. This year was a particularly difficult choice, for many bigots could have easily taken first spot. I reflect back on some of the more nefarious BWA, such as: Paula Deen, Ted Cruz, and of course (somewhat ironically, given this year’s Hero!) the United States Supreme Court for basically eliminating the 1964 Voter Rights Act.
One figure managed to rise above (or is that sink below?) the rest: this year’s Bigot of the Year Award goes to Vladimir Putin. As the leader of one of the world’s most powerful nations, Putin’s aggressive support for Russia’s new “Gay Propaganda” law makes him one of the worst human rights violators alive today. The climate of violence in which Russian LGBT folk live is horrific. That Putin would enshrine this bigotry into law and then defend it as a necessary step is unconscionable. As usual, people who are so focused on the LGBT community and so actively violent against our community make me wonder what their own issues/struggles are around being gay.
Putin’s actions are a direct lift from the Nazi playbook, demonizing an unpopular minority to bolster his political standing. Each day he is in office is served on the backs of millions of LGBT Russians. Insisting that he will enforce these evil laws even for visiting diplomats and athletes as his nation hosts the Winter Olympics is vile icing on his cake of hate.
Here’s to French President Hollande for refusing to attend the games and to President Obama for sending an openly gay delegation. We must stand in solidarity with our Russian brothers and sisters and refuse to bow to this ghastly oppression.