Former "Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller probably wouldn't have received the invitation if his sexual orientation was known, but it is now. On Thursday, TMZ reported that the actor / screenwriter came out as he rebuffed an invitation to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival.
In his letter, which was addressed to the film festival's director, Maria Averbach, Miller, 41, wrote:
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 I 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.
Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I'll be free to make a different choice. Until then.
The letter was cross-posted on the website of GLAAD, which monitors media representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and issues.
Russia has been cracking down on the LGBT community, of late. In 2012, a law was passed banning gay pride events in Moscow for the next 100 years. In June a bill classified "homosexual propaganda" as pornography, including fines and arrests for any making such "propaganda" accessible to minors.
In July, Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, signed into law a bill banning the adoption of Russian-born children by gay couples.