By Ran Aubrey Frazier
Originally published on Advocate.com February 18 2014 6:34 PM ET
The Russian journalist who said gay people's hearts should be burned or buried because they're not fit for transplantation has been selected by President Vladimir Putin to receive an award — for humanitarianism.
Dmitry Kiselyov, appointed by Putin in December to head the government-owned news agency Rossiya Segodnya, was listed as recipient of the Order of Service to the Fatherland in a decree signed by the president Thursday, The Moscow Times reports. The award acknowledges his contributions to the nation's social and economic development and his "services in the humanitarian sphere, strengthening of the rule of law, protection of the rights and interests of citizens, and many years of diligent work.”
Last August, in an appearance on a Russian TV program, Kiselyov said the nation's so-called gay propaganda law is insufficient. "I think that just imposing fines on gays for homosexual propaganda among teenagers is not enough," he said. "They should be banned from donating blood, sperm. And their hearts, in case of the automobile accident, should be buried in the ground or burned as unsuitable for the continuation of life."
Kiselyov, who has been the host of Vesti, Russia's most popular news show, was appointed to head Rossiya Segodnya in what many observers saw as Putin's bid to tighten his grip over the media, so as to minimize negative commentary about his presidency and promote a positive image of the nation to a global audience.