Openly gay MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow told David Letterman on Thursday that being openly gay in Russia is an act of bravery.

Letterman asked Maddow if she were an athlete would she be going to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

“As a gay person, there's that little inflection to it,” Maddow responded. “I'd be safe in jail.”

Maddow was referring to the nation's anti-gay law which prohibits the promotion of “gay propaganda” to minors.

“Should there have been a larger, more active, aggressive boycott or, pardon the expression, stink raised about their views on gay rights and human rights in Russia?” Letterman asked. “I was hoping that everybody would pull out.”

“The people that have made that case, I think have made a very articulate case,” she responded. “At the same time, the athletes, including the gay athletes, they want to compete in the Olympics.”

“Being openly gay in Russia is itself an act of bravery right now,” Maddow said, adding that “simply being open about your sexual orientation is a one-finger salute to Vladimir Putin.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)