ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — President Barack Obama is telling gay rights activists and other Russian civil leaders that they are strengthening their country.

Obama met with the nine advocacy leaders Friday, including two representing gay rights groups. The meeting comes as Russia is implementing a new law banning gay "propaganda."

Obama has said he is offended by the law but didn't mention it when reporters were invited briefly into the beginning of the meeting. Obama told the group that they all "contribute in one way or another to continue to strengthen Russian society and (are) helping to make progress on behalf of all people."

After meeting with the activists for more than an hour, Obama headed back to the United States.

 

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