McKellen Calls Moscow Mayor a Coward

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 26 2011 10:20 AM ET

Oscar nominee Ian McKellen doesn't think much of Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who he says is a coward for banning gay pride celebrations throughout the city.

Saturday's planned pride activities have been banned by city authorities, but gay activists say they plan to move forward with a parade anyway.

McKellen issued the following statement through PinkNews.uk: "The mayor of Moscow is a coward. Rather than face the fact that Muscovite gays and lesbians should be valued on a par with their straight peers, he panders to the right wing. He throws them some red meat, some gays, to gnaw on.

“In the 1980s, Mrs. Thatcher once did the same in the United Kingdom but she was eventually defeated totally by the efforts of gay people, their families and friends, who joined together to fight injustice.

“I send my heart-felt support for your bravery in marching on 28 May in the land of Tchaikovsky, Diaghilev and Nureyev. Good luck.”