NEW YORK — The daughter of a former Russian Olympic figure skater and member of the Russian Parliament has been nominated for a GLAAD Media Award by the LGBT advocacy group, raising the ire of Russian gay rights activists because of her mother’s anti-gay voting record.Alyona Minkovski, formerly of the Russian state owned RT Television News and now a presenter for HuffPost Live, was nominated for her reporting on LGBT issues.
Minkovski’s mother is Irina Rodnina, a Russian lawmaker who has championed Russia’s anti-gay laws and the ban on American adoptions of Russian orphans.
Rodnina made headlines last September when she provoked an international outcry with a doctored and racially insensitive picture posted from her Twitter account that featured U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, with a hand holding a banana in the foreground.
Rodnina initially defended the image as an expression of freedom of speech, but later apologized for the post, claiming it had been sent from her account by hackers.
“Alyona, please, could you also try to inspire change in your mom?” the statement read. “Could you please let her know that all this child-’saving’ is what makes children flee Russia?”
Supporters of Russia’s recent anti gay laws, U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans, and the adoption of Russian children by same-sex foreign couples have argued that the laws are designed to protect Russian children from exposed to “non-traditional” relationships and being mistreated abroad.
Before joining HuffPost Live, she was host of “The Alyona Show” on the international news network RT (formerly Russia Today).