5 Celebrities Speak on Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws
Russia’s anti-gay laws, which stipulate that anyone showing support for LGBT rights can end up in jail – a law which applies to both nationals and tourists – has been a hot topic as of late. Selena Gomez had her visa request denied recently and it appears that the reason behind it is because she supports gay rights. Wentworth Miller caused a huge stir when he refused to attend a Russian film festival because of the laws and came out at the same time. Other celebrities have also bravely spoken on the subject, knowing that they could easily be blacklisted from ever touring in Russia again. Here is what 5 stars have to say on the controversial subject.
George wrote that Russia’s “cynical and deplorable actions against the LGBT community have given license to hate groups within its borders to act with violence and impunity against a group, based solely on whom they were born to love.”
Cher doesn’t understand why the new laws are needed: ”I have so many Russian friends and I wanted to go to the Olympics and now I can’t. I don’t understand it. The first time I went to Russia everything was fine and then this just exploded. My friend Oleg said, ‘This is so strange because it’s truly not the way the people feel out there. They are afraid over there.’ ”
Elton will still go to Russia but knows he will need to be careful: ”I’m supposed to be going to Moscow in December. I’ve got to go. And I’ve got to think about what I’m going to say very carefully. There’s two avenues of thought: do you stop everyone going, ban all the artists coming in from Russia? But then you’re really leaving the men and women who are gay and suffering under the anti-gay laws in an isolated situation. As a gay man, I can’t leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ve got to go.”
Gaga wrote: “Sending bravery to Lgbts in Russia. The rise in government abuse is archaic. Hosing teenagers with pepper spray? Beatings? Mother Russia?… The Russian government is criminal. Oppression will be met with revolution. Russian Lgbts you are not alone. We will fight for your freedom.”
When invited to a film festival in Russia, Wentworth Miller refused the invitation and came out as gay at the same time. He wrote in a letter: ”Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes. However, as a gay man, I must decline. I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly. Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve. I’ll be free to make a different choice. Until then.”