RUSSIA’S record on gay rights was attacked yesterday by comic actor Stephen Fry during a visit to St Petersburg.
He met regional MPs behind the city’s recently imposed ban on “homosexual propaganda”, which has become the model for a proposed national law critics fear would be used to discriminate against gay people.
Homosexuality, punished with jail terms in the Soviet Union, was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, but much of the gay community remains underground and prejudice runs deep.
Fry – who is gay – was visiting Russia to film a documentary about gay people’s experiences.
He spoke to Vitaly Milonov, architect of a city law imposing fines for individuals and firms spreading what it terms “propaganda” that could “damage the health, moral and spiritual development” of children.
Afterwards, he tweeted to his five million Twitter followers: “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.”