Sputnik, a state-funded news agency in Russia best known in the US for disseminating fake news during the 2016 election cycle, published a story with the title “Tranny Troops: US Military to Accept Transgender Recruits Beginning 2018.”
The article continues, “Following a capitulation by the administration of US President Donald Trump to a federal court ruling overturning a Trump attempt to ban transgender US military recruits, American soldiers will now comprise a much wider spectrum of humanity.”
The rest of the short article cites a few facts about the legal process to stop Donald Trump’s transgender military ban.
Sputnik portrays the US and western Europe as decadent and failing imperial powers, and often uses stories about LGBTQ issues to show its readers how terrible the West is.
Comments on the article showed that readers understood the point. “US military about to get even worse after not winning a war for 70+ years,” one commenter said, without explaining why the military would get worse.
“Always said that the US was one big lunatic asylum,” another said.
Anti-LGBTQ attitudes are not new to the media organization. In 2013, Sputnik‘s Kremlin-appointed manager Dmitry Kiselyov said, “I think banning gays from distributing propaganda to children is not enough. I think they should be banned from donating blood or sperm, and if they die in a car crash, their hearts should be burnt or buried in the ground as unsuitable for the continuation of life.”
Last year, the propaganda outlet published an article where someone said that French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is supported by “a very rich gay lobby” and that “means everything.” Macron identifies as straight and is married to a woman, but the rumors spread to other news agencies to the point that he responded publicly.