Strip ‘anti-gay’ Russia of Olympics, urges Fry

Stephen Fry has urged Prime Minister David Cameron to support moves to strip Russia of the 2014 Winter Olympics over concerns about anti-gay laws passed in the country.

The broadcaster, writing in an open-letter on his website, compared the situation to the decision to hold the 1936 games in Nazi Germany and said President Vladimir Putin “is making scapegoats of gay people”.

He said: “An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential. Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillyhammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.”

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In the letter, which was also sent to London 2012 supremo Lord Coe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Fry said: “The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory.”

Addressing the prime minister directly, Fry said he was “a man for whom I have the utmost respect”.

He added: “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 pushed gay marriage through both houses of our parliament in the teeth of vehement opposition from so many of your own side. For that I will always admire you, whatever other differences may lie between us. In the end I believe you know when a thing is wrong or right. Please act on that instinct now.”