British actor, writer and comedian Stephen Fry has slammed St. Petersburg’s “gay propaganda” law after meeting its architect during a visit to the Russian city.
Fry is known for his roles in numerous films and TV series including Blackadder, V for Vendetta and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and as host of the comedy quiz show QI. He also has over five and half million followers on Twitter.
He visited St. Petersburg while filming a documentary about the life of gay people around the globe.
Fry met with lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, who championed the controversial law that bans public displays of homosexuality, including any public support for LGBT rights, in order to “protect” minors.
Following his debate with Milonov, he tweeted: “Wow that was interesting. Milonov and I going at it hammer and tongs.”
He went on to say: “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.”
Fry added: “Well, I shall always love Russia and hope that its youth will not allow the toxic mix of nationalism and religious zealotry to destroy her.”
The star, who is himself openly gay, also met with activists from the LGBT organisation Coming Out, while in St. Petersburg.
According to the group, Fry talked with people who are to varying degrees involved in the LGBT movement, including a lesbian couple raising two children.
“Although I’ve been horrified and upset, and angry at the brutish tyranny of 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,” said Fry.
The Russian parliament is now also considering a federal gay propaganda law similar to the one adopted in St. Petersburg and in a number of other regions in Russia.