Actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein has weighed in with his views about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “war on the gay community.”
Fierstein posted an impassioned note on his Facebook page, urging people to pay attention to what's unfolding in Russia and to take action:
“It's time to start paying attention to what's going on in Russia in case you haven't yet. Putin has declared war on the gay community. He's made it illegal to promote homosexuality in theater, film, tv, print that in any way could be seen by youth. In other words anything gay is now pornography.
He's outlawed the adopting of Russian children to any country that has legalized marriage equality.
And now it is reported that his next law will remove the children of GLBT families from their homes. This will apply to biological children as well as formerly adopted ones.
This is a horror. Not only for our community but even for straight families. Already divorced parents are threatening one another with blackmail to tell authorities that their ex is now gay just to control parental rights.
Putin wants this attack against human rights to be his legacy. He believes he can get the backing of the Vatican as well as all other conservative religious leaders to join his cause.
What can we do? Make his actions and his plans public. Shine the light of public opinion on this evil doer.
Boycott the Winter Olympics in Russia. Believe me, Putin will use the Olympics as proof that the world backs up his action. There are only two ways to deal with a tyrant: Starve out the rat, or destroy him.
So, my friends, do your research and then GET LOUD AGAINST PUTIN AND HIS ANTI-GAY POGROM. This is a very small world. Our brothers and sisters in Russia need us NOW!”
A vocal champion for gay rights, the 59-year-old Fierstein is well known for his long-running play Torch Song Trilogy, for which he won Tony Awards for both writing and originating the lead role.