A Russian lawmaker known for her outspoken support for traditional marriage and the unborn is among the officials listed in new U.S. sanctions against individuals for their alleged contribution to Russia’s unlawful grab of Ukrainian territory.
Weeks ago, President Obama announced sanctions aimed at several individuals for their alleged roles in facilitating Russia’s actions. But Yelena Mizulina’s seems out of place on the list. Mizulina is chairwoman of the Russian Duma’s Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Affairs.
She was also the lead sponsor of legislation banning Americans from adopting Russian orphans, fearing the children could suffer harm if adopted by homosexual partners.
In the documents outlining the sanctions, the allegations against Mizulina simply cite “her status as a state duma deputy.”
“Yelena Mizulina, as far as I know, has nothing to do with the controversy over the Crimea. She did sponsor a bill to make it easier for residents of the Crimea to have Russian citizenship. That was
before the Crimea was incorporated into Russia. Other than that, (she had) absolutely nothing to do with the Crimea,” said Don Feder, communications director for the World Congress of Families, which promotes traditional values around the globe.
“This is payback. This is payback for Russian restrictions on abortion. It’s payback for the child protection law. It’s payback for all the pro-family initiatives that the Russian people have undertaken in the last few years,” he said.
Feder said this story is another alarming example of who is calling the shots for the Obama administration.
“This administration is clearly controlled by the gay lobby. Whatever organized homosexuals want, the administration gives them. It was about a year or year-and-a-half ago that Obama announced that promoting gay rights abroad would be a major U.S. foreign policy initiative. You have to shake your head in wonder,” he said. “In fact, U.S. ambassadors have been ordered to march in gay pride parades all over the world, wherever they’re held.”
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Don Feder:
It's a major shift in emphasis for Obama, who only embraced gay marriage publicly two years ago. Feder said it was a pragmatic move by the administration and not the result of any deep soul-searching.
"I think a lot of it has to do with funding. Remember that when Obama ran for president in 2008, he said while he was sympathetic to gay rights, he believed that marriage was between a man and a woman. Then at the beginning of 2012, at the beginning of his re-election campaign, suddenly he decided that he was in favor of gay marriage. What changed?" asked Feder.
"Obviously nothing, it was expediency. He was told by certain gay donors if he didn't begin supporting gay marriage, they would withhold their donations. On that basis, Obama decided to have this very convenient change of heart. I think that supporting homosexual marriage ... has always been Obama's position. I think he adopted the one man-one woman (position) in 2008 as a matter of expediency. So part of it is Obama's natural philosophical inclination on social issues and part of it is expediency," he said.
According to Feder, the impact of the sanctions will be minimal. He said they will restrict Mizulina's travel but will not impact her legislative work at all. In addition, he said any intended message sent through these sanctions will fall on deaf ears with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I think Putin feels the sanctions are a joke. It gives [Obama] an opportunity to say to the people who are pressuring him to do more, 'Look, I have this list of people that I've applied sanctions to,'" Feder said.
"It's sort of like his famous red line. He'll say, 'I've drawn a red line and if Syria crosses the red line there are going to be serious consequences.' So Syria crosses the red line and the serious
consequences are Obama drawing another red line. I don't think Putin takes any of it seriously. In fact, I don't think he takes our president seriously," he said.
But what about Mizulina's impact on Americans' efforts to adopt Russian orphans? Many Americans on all sides of the gay marriage and gay adoption debates were frustrated by Russia putting a halt to them, even for traditionally married couples. Feder wholeheartedly endorses Mizulina's actions.
"I think her position is absolutely right. The Russians are very traditional people. They have a strong religious orientation. They haven't gotten caught up in the whole politically correct thing that has captured so many people in this country, that homosexuality is essentially the same as heterosexuality, that it's genetically determined and what's called discrimination against gays is the same as discrimination against a racial minority," Feder said.
"The Russian people don't feel that way. They don't want to see Russian children placed with homosexuals," he said. "Frankly, I don't blame them."