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Report: Russia Blacklisting U.S. Gay Political Funders

By Trudy Ring

Big LGBT donors to President Obama’s election campaigns are among those recently blacklisted by Russia’s government, preventing them from entering the country, The Daily Beast reports.

In an exclusive published Friday, the news site reported that Russia, which has already blacklisted several U.S. senators and White House officials, has expanded the list ‘to include Obama campaign fundraisers tied to the LGBT community,” in addition to more members of Congress.

Specifically, it includes “five top Obama campaign bundlers” — well-connected contributors who gather donations from others — plus about a dozen senators and representatives, sources told the Beast.

“The names of the specific bundlers remains a secret, but a focus was put on those with ties to the gay and lesbian community; it’s a reflection of the ongoing fight between the Kremlin and the White House over Russia’s laws punishing the promotion of LGBT ‘propaganda,’” the article notes. It continues, “The only way a bundler or lawmaker can determine if he or she is on the sanctions list is to apply for a visa to visit Russia. If the visa is rejected without explanation, the applicant is on the list.”

The list is in retaliation for sanctions placed on Russian government officials, businesspeople, and institutions by the Obama administration, the Beast reports. President Vladimir Putin said this week he was preparing another round of retaliatory sanctions but “didn’t mention that his black list had already grown,” the site notes.

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