Last Thursday the State Department hosted its now annual Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies Pride day.
One of the speakers was journalist and LGBT activist Masha Gessen, who has been an outspoken critic of the Russian government on LGBT issues. She has written a book about Vladimir Putin, for a time headed the Moscow office of the US Radio Liberty, and has been a prolific contributor to New York Times blogs.
Secretary of State John Kerry introduced her: “The government in Moscow may look at Masha as a troublemaker to contend with, but here in the United States, we know that she is a wonderful person – a mother, a journalist, an extraordinary human rights defender – and we are honored by her presence here.”
Kerry, however, did not show a YouTube clip of Gessen calling for the destruction of marriage and stating that this is the inevitable intention of those calling for same-sex marriage.
She says, “I agree that we should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it is a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist… Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there, because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change, and again, I don’t think it should exist.”
Gessen goes on to talk about her own complicated family structure. “We have three kids and five parents…more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally.” She says her own brother is the father of her second wife’s daughter.
Gessen was honored by the State Department on the day that thousands marched in Washington, D.C., in support of man-woman marriage. It is likely they and many other Americans would not see Gessen for the hero the Obama administration does.