Citing passage of recently approved laws which discriminate against LGBT people, actor-comedian-author Stephen Fry has urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to stage the Winter Olympics at Sochi.

“An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential,” Fry wrote in an open letter. “Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lilyhammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilized world.”

The laws, signed in recent weeks by Russian President Vladimir Putin, prohibit gay and lesbian couples from adopting Russian-born children and the public promotion of gay rights where minors might be present, effectively banning Gay Pride marches and similar demonstrations. Russian officials have said that its “gay propaganda” law would be in effect at Sochi and that athletes or guests who violate the law will be detained.

Putin “is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews. He cannot be allowed to get away with it.”

“I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler's anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian 'correctively' raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself,” he added.

(Related: Obama has “no patience” for anti-gay laws in Russia.)