The West is “weaponizing” LGBT propaganda to distract voters from its crumbling economic infrastructure, the former US Senate aide told RT © RT

Russia places more importance on protecting children and family values than waging a culture war, former US Senate aide Tara Reade told RT on Thursday, explaining that many in the West are poorly informed about what life is really like in the country.

The West has “weaponized culture wars…against some of the more conservatives in the United States,” Reade, now a commentator with RT, told her colleague. Russia, “watching that from the outside,” has rightly prioritized the “values of [its] vast population” over the interests of a tiny fraction of people – a stance that is often misunderstood, she said.

It is not illegal to be gay in Russia, despite oft-repeated rumors in the West, Reade explained, clarifying that Russia’s policy against “LGBT propaganda” directed at minors is just that – an effort to shield children from the promotion of alternative sexual orientations and other potentially unwholesome influences, not a blanket prohibition on non-traditional sexual practices.

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“In Russia there is a protection of family and a protection of children,” she stressed, attributing this to the strong religious values of the population.

The West’s obsessive focus on LGBT issues is underscored by an effort to “distract from the fact in the United States that the economy and infrastructure are falling apart,” Reade said. “Lifting up .01% of the population” serves as a diversion “from what’s really going on”; it’s a wedge issue for dividing society.

The presidential administration of Joe Biden, whom Reade accused of sexual assault when she worked for him in Washington in 1993 while he was a senator, is “a very strange kind of totalitarian government, kind of moving toward fascism,” she argued. She highlighted the FBI’s surveillance of Catholics as part of what she framed as a nationwide “attack on religion.”

Explaining that she was essentially forced to seek political asylum in Russia after being informed by her own government that she would be arrested if she tried to come home, Reade praised Moscow for welcoming her “without knowing my religion or background” and being “very open-armed about it.”

Reade drew a further contrast between her birthplace and her adopted home, comparing Moscow’s Gorky Park, full of “families walking together,” with the parks in American cities. “Right now in the United States, when you walk through a park, you’re seeing people laying on a bench, homeless, or on drugs, or begging for money or drugs.”

In 2022, the Russian government pledged in its official policy “to preserve and strengthen traditional Russian spiritual and moral values,” including the embrace of life, dignity, human rights and freedoms, patriotism, a strong family, prioritizing the spiritual over the material, historical memory, and the unity of Russian peoples.