Russian magazine releases list of celebrities ‘forgiven’ for being gay

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Ian Mckellen, Stephen Fry and Freddie Mercury all feature on the list.

The Russian edition of the popular men’s magazine Maxim has published a list titled “Gays We Respect”.

Russian magazine releases list of celebrities ‘forgiven’ for being gay

The list features ten male celebrities it says are “forgiven” for being gay – because they have managed to earn “respect”.

“We, men, do not consider men who love men to be men. This is the rule,” the article explains.

“But there are exceptions. There are gays who have earned our respect and the right to remain real men in our eyes.”

Ian McKellen finds himself at the top of the “prestigious” list, as the magazine says it is will forgive “his orientation” due his popular franchise roles as Gandalf and Magneto.

Stephen Fry – who placed second – is described as “the living embodiment of the idea that one can be openly gay and a sensible person at the same time.”

Freddie Mercury makes the list for his “bravery when fighting AIDs”, with actor Neil Patrick Harris praised for exhibiting the “bro code” – even though he is a “happy gay”.

The list has – unsurprisingly – received a negative reaction from many, including Maxim’s US counterpart.

“We are deeply disturbed by the article in Maxim Russia and fully condemn it. It is entirely against the views of US Maxim,” a spokesperson said.

Readers also shared their distaste for the list, with one labelling the magazine “a little yellow newsrag.”

However, the publication’s editor refuses to apologise for the list, telling BuzzFeed “our position is clearly formulated in the introduction to the article.”

Last month, a poll found that the majority of Russian people want to see gay people “liquidated” or removed from society all together.

Russian magazine releases list of celebrities ‘forgiven’ for being gay

Many have attributed the hardening of views to an anti-gay law which was passed in Russia in 2013.

The law bans the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors, and LGBT hate crimes have increased drastically since it was introduced.

This follows Vladimir Putin’s claims that he believes “there should not be any criminal prosecution or any other prosecution or infringement of people’s rights on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religious or sexual orientation.”

“We have no persecution at all,” he added.