Belfast Telegraph

Miller comes out, rejects Russia

Wentworth Miller has come out as gay while declining an invite to a Russian film festival.

The Prison Break star, 41, wrote to St Petersburg International Film Festival director Maria Averbakh to say the Russian government's attitude towards gay people meant he didn't feel comfortable attending, reported E!

In his letter which was also posted on the GLAAD website, the English-born American actor said: "Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes. However, as a gay man, I must decline.

"I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly."

He added: "If circumstances improve, I'll be free to make a different choice."

Russia recently passed a law that banned "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations around minors" which included talking about gay rights and relationships anywhere children might hear it.

Madonna was unsuccessfully sued by Russian conservative groups when she said during a St Petersburg concert that gay people should be "treated with dignity".

Lady Gaga recently tweeted: "Sending bravery to LGBTs in Russia. The rise in government abuse is archaic. Hosing teenagers with pepper spray? Beatings? Mother Russia?

"The Russian government is criminal. Oppression will be met with revolution. Russian LGBTs you are not alone. We will fight for your freedom... Why didn't you arrest me when you had the chance, Russia? Because you didn't want answer to the world?"

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