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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will inaugurate a monument to Walt Whitman, who was gay, in Moscow on Wednesday at a ceremony led by homophobic mayor Yuri Luzhkov.
The monument will be located at the site of a recent gay pride parade that Luzhkov banned, according to UK Gay News.
"The monument to Walt Whitman, an author forever linked to gay culture and its history, will be located in the gardens of the Moscow State University, where last May the mayor ordered the arrest of 32 gay and lesbian activists from Russia and Belarus who were attempting to stage a Slavic Gay Pride," reported the Web site UK Gay News.
Russian gay rights activists hope that Secretary Clinton will take the opportunity to speak out against homophobia in their country.
"I think that no one would understand her silence on the breach of fundamental rights of LGBT people in Russia, the day she inaugurates the monument to a gay poet together with the homophobic mayor of Moscow," said Nikolai Alekseev, organizer of the Moscow gay pride parade, which Luzhkov has repeatedly banned.