Russian actor who called for gays to be put in ovens urges Putin to ban homosexuality

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A Russian sitcom actor, who had previously proposed burning all gay people alive in an oven, has written an open letter to President Vladimir Putin, urging him to restore a Soviet-era law banning homosexuality.

The Moscow Times reports Ivan Okhlobystin repeatedly had tried to publish the letter on, but each time the text appeared to have been deleted with hours or even minutes of publication.

“I didn’t delete” the text, Okhlobystin said in Twitter messages. “Somebody deleted for me!”

In the letter that was finally posted on Russia’s VKontakte social network, Okhlobystin asked President Putin to restore an article of the Soviet-era Criminal Code that made same-sex sexual relationships punishable with a prison term.

The 47-year-old is known for his appearance in the Russian show ‘Interny’, which is directly influenced by the American show ‘Scrubs’.

“I’d put them all alive in the oven … it’s a living danger to my children,” he was quoted to have said in December, going on to rant about “gay fascism”, and, calling gay people “faggots” and a “physical anomaly”, saying they should be stripped of voting rights.

The actor also serves as creative director of Russian mobile phone retailer Yevroset.

In response to his proposal to burn gay people, a group of almost 20 Russian and foreign gay rights groups sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, asking him to reconsider doing business with Yevroset.

Attempting to dismiss concerns about LGBT athletes attending February’s Winter Olympics, President Putin in November declared he was against “hatred” towards people of a “non-traditional sexual orientation” – whilst continuing to support the country’s homophobic legislation.

A federal bill banning gay “propaganda” was signed into law by President Putin in June.

It prescribes fines for providing information about homosexuality to people under the age of 18 – ranging from 4,000 roubles (£78) for an individual to 1m roubles (£19,620) for organisations.

Last week, Russian authorities confirmed that special protest zones will be set up at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Putin said protests would be allowed but that they must be organised in advance with the federal security service, the FSB.

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