We remain concerned by proposed local legislation in Russia that would severely restrict freedoms of expression and assembly for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, and indeed all Russians. As Secretary Clinton has said, gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.
We have called on officials all over the world, including in Russia, to safeguard these freedoms, and to foster an environment which promotes respect for the rights of all citizens.
We have consulted with our partners in the OSCE region on this issue. They share our concerns and are also engaging Russian officials on this.
The United States places great importance on combating discrimination and violence against LGBT persons and all minority groups.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.