Despite his all-out crusade against the basic human rights of his country's LGBT citizens, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, the New York Times reports.
The International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, a Russian advocacy group, is on the list of organizations approved to make Nobel Peace Prize nominations. The group put Putin's name forward last month in a letter sent to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. It read, in part:
"Being the leader of one of the leading nations of the world, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin makes efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity not only on the territory of his own country but also actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet."
But Putin's presidency has been anything but peaceful and tranquil for Russian LGBTs.
In June, Putin signed a law that bans "gay propaganda" and criminalizes public expression of LGBT identity, LGBT pride, or support for the LGBT community. The law also makes it illegal to say that gay relationships are equal to non-gay ones.
The law has whipped the fires of Russian homophobia into a raging, hate-fueled inferno, legitimizing a climate of evil in which LGBT people are routinely lured to fake "dates" by extremist groups, bullied, beaten, raped, and targeted by increasingly barbaric legislative attacks.
But as far as the International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World is concerned, Vladimir Putin has earned the Nobel Prize for his attempt to broker a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria. In fact, a spokesperson claimed at a news conference in Moscow yesterday that Putin deserves the award far more than U.S. President Barack Obama, who received it in 2009. From the NYT report:
"'Barack Obama has the title of Nobel Prize winner -- the man who initiated and approved such aggressive actions on the part of the United States of America as in Iraq, Afghanistan, some others, and now is preparing for invasion of Syria,' Iosif Kobzon, a popular Russian singer and a member of Parliament, said at the news conference. 'I think our president, who is trying to stop the bloodshed, who is trying to help to resolve this conflict situation through a political dialogue, through diplomatic language, deserves this title more.'"
In contrast to Mr. Putin, President Obama is an outspoken supporter of his country's LGBT community.
No word yet whether the Nobel Committee has accepted Putin's nomination. The winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in Oslo on Friday, October 11.