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Oscar Wilde's
grandson calls on Putin to protect gay rights

Oscar Wilde's
grandson calls on Putin to protect gay rights

Merlin Holland--the grandson of gay playwright and poet Oscar Wilde--called for Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday to protect the rights of gay men and lesbians in the country and make sure their issues are dealt with fairly by the media during gay pride in May, Agence France-Presse reported. Holland is particularly angry over a Moscow TV station running an "overtly homophobic" report. It "quite clearly intended to convince the Russian public that homosexuality is the affliction of a depraved and decadent minority in Western Europe," Holland wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the news agency. In addition, Holland said that Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov had "publicly declared that he would ban peaceful demonstrations by sexual minorities, an act which would contravene both the Russian constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights." Holland wrote to Putin, "Your country in the past has produced great works of art and literature and music, some of it indeed by those whose nature, like Tchaikovsky, was homosexual. It is nothing of which to be ashamed; it is not decadent and depraved." Holland said that although he is not gay, he is going to Moscow to support the first International Day Against Homophobia conference, to be held in the city this May at the same time as the gay pride march, Agence France-Presse reported. (Advocate.com)

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