Tom Daley
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Pete Buttigieg & Rachel Levine Among LGBTQ+ Figures Banned From Russia

Pete Buttigieg, Rachel Levine, and Vladimir Putin

As the U.S.’s support for Ukraine continues to strengthen, Russia has permanently banned 963 well-known American citizens from entering the country. 

On Saturday, the “Russian black list” was released as a response to “the hostile actions taken by Washington,” according to the Russian Foreign Ministry and reported by The Washington Post.

The list includes President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, trans Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, and all LGBTQ+ members of the House of Representatives — Reps.Mark Takano, Sharice Davids, Mondaire Jones, Chris Pappas, David Cicilline, Sean Patrick Maloney, Mark Pocan, Angie Craig, and Ritchie Torres.

Out U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, and Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, were not on the list.

Entrepreneur and LGBTQ+ activist Rich Eychaner was also banned, in addition to a number of tech executives, journalists, and even lawmakers who have already passed.

The ministry claimed that the bans “are aimed at forcing the ruling American regime to change its behavior,” threatening that the U.S government’s “hostile actions” will “boomerang back to hit the United States itself” and “will continue to receive proper rebuffs.” It also said that the Biden administration was attempting to "impose a neo-colonial" world order. 

Former President Donald Trump, who notably initially praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, was not included in the ban. Former Vice President Mike Pence was also excluded, as was out former Trump administration official Richard Grenell.

Though most on the “black list” have not commented, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was quick to fire back, sarcastically tweeting that she would “have to cancel our August family trip to Moscow.”

Congresswoman Lori Trahan made clear that the ban would not “change my support for Ukraine.”

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