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.
New York based RUSA-LGBT congratulated Minkovski on her nomination in an English-language statement posted online Wednesday, but made direct reference to her mother’s political activities.
“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.
Article continues belowRecent polls conducted by Russian Polling Firm Levada show that nearly 78 percent of the Russian population think that homosexuality is a sickness and that it harms families and children.
Minkovski was born in Moscow, but was raised in California. She earned her Bachelors degree in Political Science and minored in Film and Digital Media at the University of California.
Before joining HuffPost Live, she was host of “The Alyona Show” on the international news network RT (formerly Russia Today).
The GLAAD Media Award seeks to honors “outstanding media images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that inspire change,” according to GLAAD’s website.