Anti-LGBTQ activist behind Proposition 8's passage brags about work crafting “gay propaganda” law in Russia

Brian Brown is president of National Organization for Marriage, which led the charge to ban marriage equality in California, and he's exporting his anti-LGBTQ extremism abroad

From the September 30 edition of MSNBC's On Assignment with Richard Engel:

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RICHARD ENGEL (HOST): Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender in Russia is not technically illegal, but police officers have long used any excuse to crack down. In 2013, they got a new weapon. Under the guise of protecting children, Russia passed the so-called “gay propaganda” law, which made it illegal to promote non-traditional relationships. The wording was vague. The effect was not. The law unleashed a wave of abuse according to the Center for Independent Social Research. Hate crimes against LGBT people nearly doubled immediately after it was passed.


The law was a step back into the dark ages, but what's even more disturbing to some is that an American went to Moscow to support it. 


ENGEL: You testified in front of the Russian parliament, the Duma. 

BRIAN BROWN (WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES PRESIDENT): It was a subcommittee, and I was asked to speak, and I willingly did. And I would do so again. 


ENGEL: Brian Brown is president of the World Congress of Families. 


ENGEL: Why would an organization of American Christian conservatives be in Russia helping Russian lawmakers craft legislation for their country? 

BROWN: There's absolutely nothing wrong with it, and Russia is not in any way unique here. I've been to over 40 countries, and I have no qualms about going to these places. 


ENGEL: But Brown's organization does have a unique connection to Russia. It was conceived in Moscow in 1995 by an American, Allan Carlson, and a Russian, Anatoly Antonov, who we recently met up with. 


ANATOLY ANTONOV (WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES CO-FOUNDER): We came from different countries, different political systems. I was from the communist Soviet Union, and he was from anti-communist America. 


ENGEL: What this secular Russian and the American evangelical Christian shared was a belief that homosexuals are a threat to society. 


ANTONOV: Homosexuality is a physiological deviation. It will never become the behavioral norm. 

BROWN: Of course we don't support same-sex marriage. That's a part of who we are. 


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