Stephen Fry Demands Russian Winter Olympics Ban Over Anti-Gay Laws In Letter To PM
Stephen Fry urges PM David Cameron to fight to have Winter Games held elsewhere due to outmoded Russian laws on homosexuality.
TV presenter and comedian Stephen Fry has spoken out against the Russian Federation's new harsh anti-Gay law that even forbids the discussion of homosexuality around young people under 18. In an open letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the Olympic Committee (IOC) and Lord Sebastian Coe, Fry urges that Russia be banned from the 2014 Winter Olympics, disparaging the country's laws as "shaven headed thuggery and bigoted religion."
Fry Has Demonstrated His Disgust Over Russia's Gay Laws.
If the Winter Olympics in Russia went ahead, rule six of the code of the Olympic Movement would indeed be flouted, as Fry quotes in his letter: "[The IOC should] Act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement."
However, Fry praises Cameron's stance against many opposing members of the Conservative party as the gay marriage bill was passed: "As the leader of a party I have for almost all of my life opposed and instinctively disliked, you showed a determined, passionate and clearly honest commitment to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights and helped push gay marriage through both houses of our Parliament in the teeth of vehement opposition from so many of your own side," he wrote before he urged Mr. Cameron to continue in his work for those who are oppressed in Russia because of their sexual orientation.
Despite Being A Comedian, Fry Thinks Russia's Gay Laws Are No Laughing Matter.
In the letter, Fry draws comparisons with Nazi Germany, describing Russia's laws as "fascist" and "barbaric" and likening the treatment of members of the LGBT community to that of Jews under Hitler's regime, saying "Putin is eerily repeating this insane crime, only this time against LGBT Russians. Beatings, murders and humiliations are ignored by the police. Any defence or sane discussion of homosexuality is against the law."
Will PM Cameron Heed Fry's Call?
A spokesperson from the government issued a statement, as reported by BBC News, to assure Fry that work was being done to ensure a safe and equal games: "We are working closely with the IOC and the BOA (British Olympic Association) to ensure that the Games take place in the spirit of the Olympic Charter and are free from discrimination," and it was mentioned that Mr. Cameron had personally raised concerns with Mr. Putin in a June meeting.
It's Up To David Cameron & The IOC To Take A Stand Against Russia's Unsettling Laws.
In a similar statement, the IOC said that "sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation," adding that they had been assure that "the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games."
After the runaway success and positivity accrued by the London 2012 Olympic Games, Fry infers that permitting Russia to hold the Winter counterpart unimpeded would be a step in the wrong direction for the equality and teamwork promoted by the Games: "The Five Rings would finally be forever smeared, besmirched and ruined in the eyes of the civilised world."