Ian McKellen Protests Against Russia's Anti-Gay Laws With Help From Nobel Prize Winners


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Ian Mckellen is certainly one of the more outspoken of the homosexual celebrities, and often uses his influence to help others when he can.

Russia has been criticized for its treatment of gay people a fair amount recently, and with the Olympics right around the corner, some people have decided to write a letter to President Putin, and make their opinions heard.

In addition to Sir Ian Mckellen, the actor is joined by 27 other Nobel laureates from the fields of science and the arts, and they are demanding that Russian President Vladimir Putin repeal the repressive homophobic legislation that has put his country at the center of an international fury over gay rights.

The letter was formulated by Ian Mckellen and chemist Sir Harry Koto, along with signatures from leading figures such as geneticist Sir Paul Nurse, novelist J.M. Coetzee, and physicist Brian Schmidt.

The Russian law, which was enacted last year, outlaws the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations among minors.’’

As stated in the letter, the actor and his fellow activists assert that "The letter is written to indicate that many senior members of the international scientific community show solidarity with politicians, artists, sports people and many others who have already expressed their abhorrence for the Russian government’s actions against its gay citizens."

One of the things that prompted Ian Mckellen to be involved in the situation, and with Russia's policy in particular, was the fact that he had been advised by the UK Foreign Office to not speak openly about his sexuality while in Russia, and he had turned down the opportunity to appear at Russian film festivals as a result.

The latest appeal to Russian lawmakers comes shortly before the Winter Olympics are scheduled to begin in Sochi, which will premiere on February 6th. The 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be the first time that the Russian Federation will have hosted the Winter Games, and while the Olympics is often an exciting time for fans, this one will be filled with controversy.

A large number of people have already vowed to protest the country's anti-gay laws and despite the fact that they have been threatened with fines and potential jail time, several athletes competing in the games are also scheduled to protest.

Along with a number of others, Ian Mckellen has been getting involved in the protests over Russia's laws against homosexuality.

Can the influence of celebrities and high-powered individuals have an influence on President Putin?

Image via Wikimedia Commons