A Russian lawmaker has branded Stephen Fry “evil”, following a feud over several months stemming from the author, actor and broadcaster’s vocal support for gay rights.
Vitaly Milonov, who was the politician behind St Petersburg’s anti-gay law that has been adopted federally by the Russian Parliament once said that Fry, who is bipolar is “sick” because he once tried to take his own life.
Speaking to the AFP in St Petersburg, Milonov said: “For me Stephen Fry is a bringer of evil, as he expresses ideas which are evil.”
On the law, Milonov said: “It’s a declaration of our values, our response to the challenges of the present time. Thank God that we have Putin, who defends the basic interests of Russia, for defending its values. [Russia] needs to resist the wave of degradation that has seized the Western world.
“I do not know why we have to apologise in front of Westerners. The preaching tone that they adopted in this area does not suit us.”
Going on to discuss equal marriage legislation in several countries, he said: “[Equal marriage is a] symptom of an illness in society, a spiritual degradation. Ninety-five percent of Russians are against gay marriage. Gays do not have any support in Russian society.
“We could say that paedophilia is a sexual choice we could say that murder is one way to survive. But truth is truth and we cannot change the way things are. Homosexuality is not normal, I’m sorry.”
Previously speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, Mr Milonov said: “Who is this Stephen Fry? I know because he is sick person because he tried to commit suicide as far as I remember.” Mr Milonov met Fry earlier this year and said that he did not believe LGBT teens were tormented for their identity and claimed that teens pretended to be bullied in order to “indoctrinate” other youth.
Responding to the attacks in an open letter, Stephen Fry said that Milanov was “oafish and stupid”.
He said: “I looked into the face of the man and, on camera, tried to reason with him, counter him, make him understand what he was doing.
“All I saw reflected back at me was what Hannah Arendt called, so memorably, ‘the banality of evil’.”
Hours earlier Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted to say it would not be appropriate to boycott the 2014 Russian Winter Olympics – but that he had great sympathy for the plight of the country’s LGBT community.