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Gay rights activists plan to meet Obama in Russia

BY NATALIYA VASILYEVA, ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOSCOW -- Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights activists said Tuesday they have been invited to meet with President Barack Obama on the sidelines of this week's Group of 20 summit in Russia.

Obama and his administration have voiced concern over a law recently passed by Russia's parliament that targets "homosexual propaganda."

Igor Kochetkov of LGBT Network told The Associated Press that his organization will accept the invitation to meet with Obama in St. Petersburg on Thursday. The St. Petersburg-based advocacy group Coming Out said it also was invited but hasn't decided yet whether to go.

The White House would not comment on the meeting. However, Obama has frequently met with civil society groups when traveling abroad. In 2009, he met with a group of Russian rights activists while visiting Russia, but members of the LGBT community were not present then.

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