The Miss Universe Organization on Tuesday expressed concern over a law that bans gay propaganda to minors in Russia and the ongoing anti-LGBT crackdown in the country. “The Miss Universe Organization believes in equality for all individuals and is deeply concerned by the laws recently enacted in Russia and currently in place in several other countries,” it said in a statement GLAAD released. “Both the law, as well as the violence experienced by the LGBT community in Russia, are diametrically opposed to the core values of our company. Our organization has always embodied a spirit of inclusion and is a celebration of people from all countries and walks of life.” The statement comes less than a week after Andy Cohen told E! News he turned down a request to co-host the 2013 Miss Universe pageant that will take place in Moscow in November, in part, because “he didn’t feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia.”
Following today's statements, GLAAD plans to reach out to the Miss Universe Organization about further speaking out against the anti-LGBT attacks and the "gay propaganda" law.