Anti-Gay Russian Actor Resigns Exec Job After Backlash

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Tuesday January 14, 2014

The Russian actor / businessman who made headlines recently for saying he wanted to burn gay people alive in furnaces has resigned from his job this week as creative director of the country's largest cell phone retailer, due to backlash, Gay Star News reports.

Ivan Okhlobystin, known for his role on Russian's version of "Scrubs," resigned as creative director at Euroset, soon after he urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring back the country's sodomy laws.

"Given the incessant threats, provocations and insults from the sodomites in respect of my friends, associates and their familes [sic], I have insisted I should resign," he said, according to GSN. "People close to me do not have to suffer from my public position from which I will never give up."

He added, "Sodom and Gomorrah must be destroyed!"

Earlier this month a group of more than 15 LGBT organizations teamed up to urge Apple CEO Tim Cook to cut ties with Euroset, over Okhlobystin's statements on LGBT people.

"I myself would shove all live gays into a furnace," Okhlobystin, 47, said in December. "This is Sodom and Gomorrah, I as a believer in God can not treat this indifferently, this is a live threat to my kids!... I do not want my kids to think that faggots are normal. This is lavender fascism. If a person can not choose someone of an opposite sex for procreation -- this is an overt sign of mental abnormality, so they should be denied of voting rights."

The activists wrote an open letter to Cook on Jan. 5, saying, "Okhlobystin's statements have been enthusiastically published by the Kremlin's propaganda press and distributed across entire Russia just adding additional fuel to the rampant homophobic campaign that already resulted in at least 26 murders and countless hate crimes against the Russian LGBT population [sic]."

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