Openly gay British actor and comedian Stephen Fry traveled to Russia to confront the man behind the country's anti-gay "homosexual propaganda" law.
Fry, who advocates on behalf of equal rigths, confronted lawmaker Vitaly Milonov on Thursday for his BBC documentary, "Out There," which is about gay rights around the globe, the New York Times reports.
Milonov drafted the Russian anti-gay bill that makes “propaganda of homosexuality among minors” punishable by up to $16,200. The draft was supported by parliament in January, and its ambiguous wording has lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists worried about its enforcement.
Fry shared the details of the interview with his 5.5 million Twitter fans.
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Even after the meeting, which lasted over an hour, Milonov still didn't seem to grasp Fry's point.
"Fry is making a film about gays and according to the rules of the genre, he needed an opinion opposing his. But in reality he was not at all interested in it," Milonov told the Agence France-Presse. "For him, we who support the law against promotion of homosexuality are just crazy savages. This law and our attitude to homosexuality is our internal affair. It's our own choice. We don't want to see our civilisation die."
Previously, Milonov defended the law, reasoning that it is "directed at the protection of motherhood and childhood, rather than at restricting human rights," according to the St. Petersburg Times.
When Milonov was asked if the law might obstruct gay pride events and the right to protest, he offered his personal opinion on the matter.
“As a person, I am profoundly against gay parades, because I am an Orthodox Christian and the demonstration of the sin of Sodom is repellent to me," he told the St. Petersburg Times. "If, God forbid, I happened to see a crowd of those citizens — like they do in Berlin, I’ve seen photographs where men with all sorts of dildos are running around semi-naked — it’s natural that I’d try to take my children aside, so that they would not see this perversion."
Fry's interview with the anti-gay lawmaker comes on the heels of a new survey conducted by the Levada-Center about anti-gay sentiments in Russia. The survey revealed 85 percent opposed same-sex marriage, 22 percent said gays need compulsory treatment, 34 percent think homosexuality is a disease and 5 percent said gays should be eradicated.