(USA TODAY) -- Prison Break
star Wentworth Miller has declined an invitation to the St. Petersburg
International Film Festival saying that as a gay man he disapproves of
the Russian government's crackdown on homosexuals.
Miller had been invited to appear as a guest of honor at the festival. "As a gay man, I must decline, he said.
The actor, 41, whose sexual orientation has been the subject of speculation in the past, came out in a letter he sent on Wednesday to festival organizers.
Wentworth's letter, which is posted on GLAAD's website,
thanks festival organizers for an invitation but states "I am deeply
troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and
women by the Russian government."
"Wentworth's bold show of
support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing
extreme violence and persecution: you are not alone," said a statement
from GLAAD representative Wilson Cruz, who is also an actor (My So-Called Life).
Miller's announcement comes amid international condemnation of Russia's recent crackdown on homosexuals.
Stringent new laws prescribe fines for people accused of spreading
"propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" to minors. Gay pride
rallies are banned, as is the adoption of Russian-born children by
same-sex couples. And foreign visitors suspected of being gay can now be detained for up to 15 days, which has raised concerns worldwide as Russia prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.