British actor and activist Stephen Fry interviewed Vitaly Milonov, the Russian lawmaker who is largely responsible for the draconian anti-gay laws in that country, one of which criminalizes what has been called “gay propaganda.” Mr. Milonov seemed determined to make a complete fool of himself and Fry was all too willing to assist in that endeavor, not that he really needed any help.
Fry began by asking,
“I wonder, Deputy, if the first thing you could do is just explain to me — because these things get complicated when people report them and then report them again, exactly what it is that you have made a law here in St. Petersburg, what is now illegal that used to be legal?”
“What is illegal is uncontrolled public statement forming the incorrect impression about social equality of same sex and traditional families,” Milonov replied. “We also can’t speak about some historical figures.”
Fry asks if speaking of Tchaikovsky’s sexual orientation and how that may have affected his talent would be illegal, to which the Deputy said simply, “No.”
When pressed further, Milonov replied, “It’s a crime to tell kids that only this way of living made him so talented,” eliciting a chuckle from Fry who said, “Nobody would say that.”
He goes on to explain to the Deputy that people might use Tchaikovsky’s sexual orientation to show a teen troubled by his own homosexuality in a world where so many are not accepting of it rose to greatness anyway.
Milonov responded with some inane analogy speaking about what he refers to as an “inadequate individual” who may invade a kindergarten and attempt to tell the children that they “should identify their sexual identity.”
Fry tried to point out to him the absurdity of what he is saying, that no one tells children that they should convert to the gay lifestyle and that the real threat is from people who invent a bogeyman to frighten ignorant people.
Fry mentions the case of the lesbian who was raped in an effort to “cure her” and who was told by the police to go away as soon as they learned she was a lesbian.
Milonov, just as the TEApublicans in this country do, responded that the story, as are all of the stories of how gays and lesbians are mistreated in Russia, is a “fairy Tale.”
“[Most gay people] are lying about their problems,” Milonov claimed
Fry was naturally astounded by such a blatant attempt to justify the unjustifiable. When Milonov referred to homosexuality as a “genetic defect,” which he claims doesn’t exist, Fry stopped him, saying,
“You really ought to stop because you’re making a great fool of yourself on camera.”
I certainly can’t argue with that.
Watch the exchange in the video below.