Citing his role in preventing an American military strike against Syria, the International Academy for Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World has nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Price, Pink News reports.
The recommendation of the Russian organization, which is reportedly on a list of those approved to make such nominations, reads in part, “Being the leader of one of the leading nations of the world, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin makes efforts to maintain peace and tranquility not only on the territory of his own country but also actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet.”
In the lead-up to the Sochi Winter Games next year, Putin signed off on a number of anti-gay laws, including a nationwide measure banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" among minors and a law that bans foreign gay couples from adopting Russian children.
In the wake of indications that athletes are willing to use the forum of athletic competitions to take a stand against the anti-gay laws, Putin also issued a decree that prohibits “gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets” that are not part of the Sochi Olympics and Paralympics from Jan 7 to March 21.
Both American middle-distance runner Nick Symmonds and Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro leveraged the spotlight on the World Athletics Championships in Russia to take a stand against the crackdown on LGBT people.
The International Olympic Committee has also come under fire for accepting Russian authorities' assurances that there'll be no discrimination at the 2014 Games and for adopting a hands-off approach in the face of the host country's enactment and defence of anti-gay legislation.
Putin, along with a number of other political leaders, continues to insist there's no discrimination against LGBT Russians.
The author of St Petersburg's anti-gay gag law, Vitaly Milonov, who harassed a number of guests attending a queer festival in the city, also dismissed a reporter's questions about violence LGBT Russians face, saying it's "fake information" and "not true," and claimed that it's actually gay people who perpetrate violence against straight people.
Sergei Naryshkin, chairman of the State Duma, also told a meeting of the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly that his country's anti-gay propaganda law will not lead to discrimination, saying there aren't "concrete examples" of that.
Another measure, proposed by State Duma deputy Alexei Zhuravlev, would deprive LGBT Russians of their parental rights if approved. That measure is reportedly scheduled for consideration in February, Gay Star News reports.