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Wentworth Miller, who starred on the acclaimed Fox series Prison Break, is gay. The actor made the announcement in a letter explaining why he will not attend a Russian film festival he was invited to.
Miller said that he was invited to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival, but is refusing to go because of the country’s new and controversial law that bans promoting LGBT causes in public. “As a gay man, I must decline,” he wrote in the letter, published by GLAAD today. “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,” he wrote.
“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,” Miller continued.
GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz praised Miller’s decision to come out, writing that “Wentworth's bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution: you are not alone.”
Cruz continued, “As people from across the globe continue to speak out against Russia's horrific law, more celebrities and corporations should follow his courageous lead in openly condemning Russia's anti-LGBT law.”
Miller joins a growing list of celebrities to protest Russia, which is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. George Takei has called for the Games to be moved out of Russia, while Bravo’s Andy Cohen declined to judge a beauty pageant. Lady Gaga has also spoken out against Russia, tweeting directly to the LGBT community there.
“Sending bravery to LGBTs in Russia. The rise in government abuse is archaic. Hosing teenagers with pepper spray? Beatings? Mother Russia?” the singer wrote.