Hillary Clinton Had 'Shouting Matches' With Russian Pols on LGBT Rights

By Daniel Reynolds

Originally published on Advocate.com June 12 2014 1:47 PM ET

Hillary Clinton spoke in Chicago this week about her advocacy for international LGBT rights, and she singled out the antigay laws of Vladimir Putin's Russia.

While on a tour for her new memoir, Hard Choices, which recounts her years as Secretary of State, Clinton revealed how the "increasing backlash" against LGBT people around the world led her to advocate for a gay rights platform before international leaders in Geneva, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

"I began to vigorously protest with governments in many parts of the world," said Clinton, who differentiated between the nations that just need to be "brought along" with the progress of gay rights and those who "are just cynical."

"Like what Putin's doing in Russia with all these laws against the LGBT community," she said, referring to the Russia's controversial "gay propaganda" law that prohibits LGBT protests, Pride events, and other public displays that may be accessible to minors. "That is just a cynical political ploy. I've gotten into shouting matches with top Russian officials. But I realized unless there was an argument made, a platform created, we wouldn't have as strong of a case."

"We have a long way to go, I don't want to mislead anybody," added the 66-year-old former Secretary of State, who held this office from 2009 to 2013. "This is going to be an ongoing struggle, and the United States must be on the front lines."

Around 1,500 people filled Chicago's Harris Theater to hear Clinton, who was interviewed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the first stop on her book tour. During this discussion, which ranged in topics from women's rights to income equality, Clinton stressed that not everyone would be thrilled with the details revealed in Hard Choices.

"Now, there may be world leaders who might not be happy when they read my book," she said. "I'm talking to you, Vladimir."