Ian McKellen publishes open letter against the Russian anti-gay laws days before the Sochi Olympics


Ian McKellen is not a fan of Russia's current anti-gay laws, and he made his views known by publishing an open letter about it, just three weeks before the Sochi Winter Olympics begin.

The letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people, given to The Independent by McKellen and 27 Nobel laureates, speaks out against the ban on "homosexual propaganda."

"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," it reads. "Protest is never easy but we hope that by expressing opposition to the new legislation it might be possible to encourage the Russian state to embrace the 21st century humanitarian, political and inclusive democratic principles which Mikhail Gorbachev worked so hard to achieve."

McKellen, an outspoken advocate of gay rights, signed the letter "a.k.a. Henry V/Gandalf." He has also turned down invitations to Russian film festivals after the U.K. Foreign office advised him he wouldn't be able to talk about his sexuality there.

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