A spokesperson for the Russian government told reporters that the asylum cancellation came after Putin learned that Snowden is gay and that previous revelations about his dancer-girlfriend Lindsay Mills were a mere cover-up for his homosexuality. Russia recently issued draconian laws to criminalize homosexuality and has stepped up a state-sanctioned campaign to persecute lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens and visitors.
Ironically, the discovery about Snowden’s sexual orientation came about after the U.S. National Security Agency leaked 5 years worth of email exchanges between Snowden and his long-time boyfriend. The documents, obtained by the Russian government this week, showed that Mills is actually a lesbian cousin of Snowden. The NSA leaked documents did not identify Snowden’s boyfriend by name.
It was not clear whether Snowden is in custody or is back at the Moscow airport lounge which was the fugitive’s living quarters for many weeks prior to the asylum order.