Stephen Fry Calls Out Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws and the Winter Olympics


The US is already on the fence about its involvement in next year’s Winter Olympics because of Russia providing refuge for NSA whistel-blower Edward Snowden. English actor and writer Stephen Fry isn’t too pleased with Russia either, but for entirely different reasons. If you’re gay in Russia you’re breaking the law and that isn’t cool with Stephen.

President Vladimir Putin introduced last month a string of laws banning the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”, translation “if you show your Pride, you’re in deep trouble.” Russia isn’t kidding either. Last week a group of Dutch filmmakers were arrested in Murmansk for allegedly discussing homosexual LGBT rights with teens.

Stephen Fry calls crap when he sees it and wrote a letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron and the International Olympic Committee, calling for a boycott of the Winter Olympics. The letter is two pages but includes some gleaming moments such as…

“An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential. Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillehammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilized world.”

“I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian “correctively” raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.”

“I am begging you to resist the pressures of pragmatism, of money, of the oily cowardice of diplomats and to stand up resolutely and proudly for humanity the world over, as your movement is pledged to do. Wave your Olympic flag with pride as we gay men and women wave our Rainbow flag with pride. Be brave enough to live up to the oaths and protocols of your movement, which I remind you of verbatim below.
Rule 4 Cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace
Rule 6: Act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement
Rule 15 Encourage and support initiatives blending sport with culture and education.”

You gotta give it to the man, he makes some good points. Isn’t the Olympic spirit about people casting aside their differences and coming together to celebrate sport? How’s that supposed to happen with a dark cloud of bigotry looming over the bobsled run?

Read the full letter here.

Via Junkee

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