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Watch What Happens Live host and fellow Miss Universe cohost Andy Cohen has announced that he will not travel to Russia to cohost the 2013 Miss Universe Competition. Cohen, who is openly gay, sites Russia’s “discriminatory policies” as his reason for turning down the job.
E! News reports that Cohen opened up about his decision to turn down the job with fellow cohost Giuliana Rancic. He explained that the country’s “discriminatory policies make it unsafe for the gays who live there
and gays coming to work or visit."
Cohen went on to explain how the laws against homosexuality have become increasingly strict over the years. "The law is that anyone under suspicion of homosexuality can be arrested," he told Rancic, adding that he "didn't feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia."
Currently a petition on Change.org has been created asking that the pageant be moved away from Russia due to their discriminatory laws. The petition has over 24,000 signatures thus far.