Ramzan Kadyrov, the Russian-backed Head of the Chechen Republic, did an interview with HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (to air next week) to talk about how he’s spreading his political message through mixed martial arts. But correspondent David Scott made sure to ask about the torture of gay men in the region.
Kadyrov blew off the question. He didn’t deny the torture was happening. He denied that gay men even existed in his nation.
Scott asked him about the “alleged roundup, abduction, and torture of gay men in the Republic.”
Kadyrov quickly dismissed it all.
[Laughs. Looks off-camera] Why did he come here? What’s the point of these questions?
[To Scott] This is nonsense. We don’t have those kinds of people here. We don’t have any gays. If there are any, take them to Canada.Praise be to God. Take them far from us so we don’t have them at home. To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them.
Then, speaking of the media reporting the torture, Kadyrov condemned them for making it all up.
They are devils. They are for sale. They are not people. God damn them for what they are accusing us of. They will have to answer to the Almighty for this…
Once again, anti-gay hatred is mixed with religion. Kadyrov, like most people in Chechnya, is Muslim, and he uses religion for political advantage. The consequences of his beliefs may be deadly but that blend of bigotry is nothing new for those of us in the U.S. We’re used to seeing politicians motivated by their Christian faith to make the lives of LGBTQ people miserable.
(via Washington Post. Thanks to John for the link)