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Stars back Stephen Fry's call for Russian Olympics ban

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Aug 08, 2013 | 10:44am EDT

Stars including Lily Allen, Alan Cumming and Sophia Bush have thrown their support behind British actor Stephen Fry as he campaigns to have the upcoming Winter Olympics moved from Russia over gay rights issues. Fry has written an open letter to Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urging them to move the 2014 games in Sochi or risk a boycott. The actor is adamant the country's treatment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community should not go unnoticed, and a number of other stars have thrown their support behind the campaign. British singer Allen has shared a link to a petition against the Russian Olympics with fans on her Twitter.com page, writing, "Do you want an anti-gay Olympics? Tell the IOC to stop Russia's LGBT crackdown," while singer/songwriter Sia Furler followed suit, adding, "Please please please take 20 seconds to sign this petition condemning Russia's anti-gay laws. Queers are awesome." Scottish actor Cumming shared a link to Fry's letter and urged fans to pass it on, writing, "Read this by Stephen Fry and RT (re-tweet) it to everyone you can. People need to know what is happening in Russia." Actresses Bush and Mia Farrow have also spoken out in a series of posts on Twitter, while Star Trek legend George Takei insisted Olympic bosses should consider moving the Games to Vancouver in Canada. In a post on his blog, he writes, "There have been urgent calls for boycotts of the Olympics and of Russian exports like vodka. These are understandable... But a boycott of the games would punish athletes who have trained for years to participate... There is a petition gathering strength demanding the Olympics be relocated to Vancouver, which played host in 2010. All of the facilities are still in good condition, so this would likely be the easiest of possible alternatives... Please take a few moments to sign the petition... With enough support, maybe the IOC and the sponsors will realise that this is a disaster in the making, and the best course is to move immediately and decisively to relocate the Winter Games of 2014." It is currently illegal to promote homosexuality in Russia, and Foreign Ministry's rights envoy Konstantin Dolgov says of the growing international furore, "The criticism of our law banning homosexual propaganda... is absolutely invalid and groundless. It is an attempt to accuse us of violating international obligations that do not exist."

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