“Star Trek actor George Takei backs petition to move Sochi Games to Vancouver”

George Takei on “The Last Word (MSNBC)

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THE PROVINCE

By Frank Luba

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VANCOUVER — Activist and actor George Takei, best known as helmsman Lt. Sulu in the original Star Trek series, is boldly going where tens of thousands have gone before, denouncing Russia’s anti-gay laws, calling instead for the 2014 Games to move to Vancouver from Sochi.

He’s the latest celebrity to weigh in on the Olympic controversy, endorsing a petition at Change.org that had garnered more than 55,000 supporters by Wednesday afternoon.

Russia “intends to enforce its laws against visiting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) athletes, trainers and fans, meaning anyone even so much as waving a rainbow flag (and I presume many men enthusiastically watching and dramatically commenting on figure skating) would be arrested, held for weeks and then deported,” he wrote in a blog post posted Tuesday.

“Given this position, the (International Olympic Committee) must do the right thing, protect its athletes and the fans, and move the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Russia.”

Takei noted Vancouver’s facilities are still in good condition and the city would be the easiest of possible alternatives. Moving the Games, he said, would be much better than a boycott — one of the options touted by some activists.

“A boycott of the games would punish athletes who have trained for years to participate, and a boycott of Russian vodka isn’t going to affect the kind of change needed,” he wrote.

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Lady Gaga attends The Rally during NYC Pride 2013 on June 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Lady Gaga attends The Rally during NYC Pride 2013 on June 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Pop star Lady Gaga is speaking out on Twitter against the anti-LGBT violence in Russia and the country’s ban on gay activism.

Activists around the world have been pressing the international community to help stop Russia’s anti-LGBT laws that prohibit the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” Under the law, promoting gay pride or speeches, kissing or holding hands in public, or even being suspected of being gay could mean jail time for both citizens and tourists.

In messages posted to her feed Monday, Lady Gaga offered her support to gay and lesbian Russians.

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Protesters pour out vodka over anti-gay Russian laws

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