By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com August 12 2013 2:31 PM ET
Bryan Fischer, the right-wing pundit and radio host who serves as director of issues analysis for the antigay American Family Association, is widely regarded in the U.S. as a fringe activist whose unapologetic homophobia is beyond the pale. But according to a state-run Russian radio outlet, Fischer is an "expert" on homosexuality.
Voice of Russia, the state-run news agency, interviewed Fischer to get his take on a spate of anti-LGBT laws recently passed in Russia.
"Russia is not being homophobic, it’s homorealistic," Fischer told VOR. "The Russian government is trying to take the issue into consideration and establish public policy to contribute to public health, as this lifestyle is not be promoted, endorsed or granted special legal protection."
Noting that Fischer warned of the "high health risks" connected to homosexuality, VOR called the right-wing pundit an "expert."
"Homosexual behavior is just as risky as drug abuse," Fischer continued. "I think the Russian government is right to be concerned with propaganda on teenagers who are at the age of struggling through sexual identity issue and we should help to channel these urges in productive behavior. Heterosexuality is God’s design. Policies that encourage young people to think this are good ideas."
Fischer has a long history of vile anti-LGBT rhetoric in the U.S., often comparing homosexuality to incest and polygamy. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, Fischer said he believed DOMA's death was a bigger travesty than Trayvon Martin's, the unarmed 17-year-old shot to death in Florida by George Zimmerman. But this appears to be one of Fischer's first forays into international relations, speaking directly to VOR on Thursday, according to Right Wing Watch.
Russia recently enacted a national ban on so-called propaganda of "nontraditional sexual relations" to minors, which amounts to a ban on the discussion of LGBT identities, imposing fines and possible jail time for offenders. President Vladimir Putin signed the ban on so-called homosexual propaganda into law earlier this summer, shortly after he signed a bill prohibiting same-sex couples or single people in nations that embrace marriage equality from adopting Russian orphans. Since that time, LGBT Russians and visitors have been savagely beaten, tortured, and imprisoned for gathering in public, unfurling rainbow flags, or even discussing LGBT life in Russia at small private conferences.