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Thread: Russia scraps US exchange scheme, says teen put in gay couple's care

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    Russia scraps US exchange scheme, says teen put in gay couple's care

    Russia has pulled out of a long-running US-funded student exchange programme, accusing the organisers of letting a teenager stay behind in the United States in the care of a gay couple.

    Moscow's decision to pull the plug on the largest Russia-US high school exchange programme comes amid a showdown with the United States over Ukraine which has also seen President Vladimir Putin try to curb the spread of Western values.

    "A child, who has a mother in Russia, has illegally been placed under guardianship, and the boy has been handed over to a US gay couple," Russia's children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said on Wednesday.
    Russia scraps US exchange scheme, says teen put in gay couple's care

    After reading this article, I felt for the kids that lost a great opportunity to boost their future growth.
    But at the same time, I understand the actions of the Russian government and feel ashamed for the actions of US officials. Why?
    Well, the first thing that draws attention is: “A child, who has a mother in Russia, has illegally been placed under guardianship… The child hails from a decent family and is healthy so it's unclear what arguments those in the United States have been guided by.” Is it ok to do that with a citizen of the other country?
    And the second thing is: “...the boy has been handed over to a US gay couple." Nothing terrible, of course – for us. But “Russia does not recognize same-sex marriages and has banned adoptions from countries that legally allow such unions.” Let’s step aside from the fairness of such position. Just focus on the fact that a country had certain laws protecting its children. And US officials did something to the citizen of this country that violates these laws. It’s like making a Muslim woman from a conservative country put on a mini skirt and walk in a public place. Nothing terrible, but what would the reaction be?
    So, I assume that the whole situation is a provocation, though I don’t really understand what goals it might pursue.

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    Re: Russia scraps US exchange scheme, says teen put in gay couple's care

    Quote Originally Posted by Tameamea View Post
    Well, the first thing that draws attention is: “A child, who has a mother in Russia, has illegally been placed under guardianship… The child hails from a decent family and is healthy so it's unclear what arguments those in the United States have been guided by.” Is it ok to do that with a citizen of the other country?
    The US let a gay teen defect from Russia. The kid filed for asylum.

    So what? Moscow does not have the right to forbid it's citizens from not returning or changing their citizenship.

    "A report in the state-run TASS news agency said a legal group at the Russian embassy in the US had been following the incident after the child’s mother unsuccessfully tried to get him to come home in May, and Russian diplomats followed up with a visit to Michigan. The report said the diplomats found that the child “met a pair of old homosexuals at church, former military men who had already adopted two American boys, and they offered to become his sponsor and even pay for his studies at Harvard University.” The diplomats said the child then turned himself into to immigration authorities and “admitted his non-traditional sexual orientation,” the TASS report said. "

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/...up-for#1qxtmmx

    Quote Originally Posted by Tameamea View Post
    And the second thing is: “...the boy has been handed over to a US gay couple." Nothing terrible, of course – for us. But “Russia does not recognize same-sex marriages and has banned adoptions from countries that legally allow such unions.” Let’s step aside from the fairness of such position. Just focus on the fact that a country had certain laws protecting its children. And US officials did something to the citizen of this country that violates these laws. It’s like making a Muslim woman from a conservative country put on a mini skirt and walk in a public place. Nothing terrible, but what would the reaction be? So, I assume that the whole situation is a provocation, though I don’t really understand what goals it might pursue.
    Russia is virulently homophobic. I'd defect too.
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    Re: Russia scraps US exchange scheme, says teen put in gay couple's care

    How old is this supposed "child"? And I would have thought the program, going on for 21 years, would have rules about this hammered out long ago.

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    Re: Russia scraps US exchange scheme, says teen put in gay couple's care

    Quote Originally Posted by brothern View Post
    The US let a gay teen defect from Russia. The kid filed for asylum.

    So what? Moscow does not have the right to forbid it's citizens from not returning or changing their citizenship.

    "A report in the state-run TASS news agency said a legal group at the Russian embassy in the US had been following the incident after the child’s mother unsuccessfully tried to get him to come home in May, and Russian diplomats followed up with a visit to Michigan. The report said the diplomats found that the child “met a pair of old homosexuals at church, former military men who had already adopted two American boys, and they offered to become his sponsor and even pay for his studies at Harvard University.” The diplomats said the child then turned himself into to immigration authorities and “admitted his non-traditional sexual orientation,” the TASS report said. "

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/...up-for#1qxtmmx


    Russia is virulently homophobic. I'd defect too.
    Yeah, I found this article later, too. It explains some things. But still.. It's a kid, even if he wants to live in US, he has no right to make this decision yet. There's his mother who is responsible for him. Isn't it a kidnapping when a child is kept somewhere without the permission of his guardians?
    I don't know how much homophobic Russia is, or its government, or its people (cause you remember that governmental decision do not always equal the people's opinion, right?). I just wanted to point out the fact that US officials deliberately violated certain agreements plus created a provocative situation. It's not... decent. And not smart either.

    By the way, I found another article: 'Same-Sex Adoption' Killed U.S.-Russian FLEX Exchange Program | News | The Moscow Times

    "As a consequence — contrary to the agreements and rules of the program — a Russian teenager has stayed in another country."

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    How old is this supposed "child"? And I would have thought the program, going on for 21 years, would have rules about this hammered out long ago.
    Well, the participants of the program are high schoolers, so the kid should be under 18.
    And yes, the program is quite old, why did this happen this year?

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    Re: Russia scraps US exchange scheme, says teen put in gay couple's care

    Quote Originally Posted by Tameamea View Post
    Yeah, I found this article later, too. It explains some things. But still.. It's a kid, even if he wants to live in US, he has no right to make this decision yet. There's his mother who is responsible for him. Isn't it a kidnapping when a child is kept somewhere without the permission of his guardians?
    I don't know how much homophobic Russia is, or its government, or its people (cause you remember that governmental decision do not always equal the people's opinion, right?). I just wanted to point out the fact that US officials deliberately violated certain agreements plus created a provocative situation. It's not... decent. And not smart either.

    By the way, I found another article: 'Same-Sex Adoption' Killed U.S.-Russian FLEX Exchange Program | News | The Moscow Times

    "As a consequence — contrary to the agreements and rules of the program — a Russian teenager has stayed in another country."
    I don't doubt that the Michigan court that granted the kid asylum took into consideration his mother. Given how homophobic Russia is, I would almost guarantee that the mother is probably of the same opinion and probably wants her son back so that she can put him through reparative therapy. Which would be why the Michigan court allowed the asylum request.

    When gay teens come out, it is often the case that the reaction of homophobic parents is to be in complete denial and start blaming the teen's boyfriend, friends, mentors, etc. for "making him/her that way." The parents do not care to accept the fact that sexuality is innate, and thus blame (and therefore lash out) at some factor in the teen's life. Those parents are the ones to try to seek out reparative therapy or other methods of trying to change their kid back to being straight.

    Also yes, Russia is incredibly homophobic. Post the Russian LBGT propaganda law — where LGBTs are forbidden from speaking about "non-traditional sexual relations" — there has been an huge spike in anti-gay violence directed against Russian LGBTs. The Russian government and police have done absolutely nothing to prevent it or protect Russian LGBT citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tameamea View Post
    Well, the participants of the program are high schoolers, so the kid should be under 18.
    And yes, the program is quite old, why did this happen this year?
    The kid is 17 according to a NYT article on the incident.
    Last edited by brothern; 10-06-14 at 02:29 PM.
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