On a March 14 trip to Russia, British actor/author Stephen Fry heard from LGBT activists about the increase in anti-gay violence since the passage of St. Petersburg’s “gay propaganda” law, which the Russian parliament is considering extending nationwide.
Fry said, “Although I’ve been horrified and upset, and angry at the brutish tyranny of the so many of the homophobic people who are supported by the government, what has touched me much more has been the work of the [LGBT] activists … and the people who stand up to bullying, stand up to homophobia, stand up to name calling, stand up to violence. And they do so, because they are proud of who they are. And they know they have the dignity and all the rights that any human being should have. And in time Russia will know that too,” Coming Out St. Petersburg reported.
Fry was in Russia to film a documentary about gay people’s experiences in many countries. Reuters reported:
He spoke in St Petersburg to lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, the architect of a city law imposing fines for individuals and firms spreading what it calls “propaganda” that could “damage the health, moral and spiritual development” of children.
Fry said he had a tense debate with the lawmaker. “Milonov doesn’t seem to believe there are teenagers bullied and tormented for being gay, he thinks they make it up … He regards liberals as the destroyers of Europe,” he said on Twitter.
- Protests: Anti-gay bill violates Russian traditions of love, respect (76crimes.com)
- Violence greets Russian protests against anti-gay bill (76crimes.com)
- Appeal to Russia: Drop anti-gay bill that spurs anti-gay violence (76crimes.com)