Andy Cohen, who has been the regular co-host of the Miss Universe Pageant, said he’s skipping this year’s pageant because it’s being held in Moscow, Russia, where a controversial anti-gay law has been passed, reports E! Online.
Cohen, the host of Bravo’s "Watch What Happens Live," told his pageant co-host of the past two years, E! News’ Giuliana Rancic, that he turned down the gig because "discriminatory policies make it unsafe for the gays who live there and gays coming to work or visit."
"The law is that anyone under suspicion of homosexuality can be arrested," he said. He added that he "didn’t feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia."
It’s not clear who will replace Cohen at the event, the story adds.
"Implemented last month, a controversial new law banning ‘propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors’ bars the public discussion of gay rights and relationships anywhere children might hear it," the story reports. "The law has been condemned by Russian and international human rights groups as highly discriminatory."
The report adds: "The anti-gay propaganda law quickly stirred up controversy, with people calling for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia to gay bars in Los Angeles planning ‘vodka-dumping’ protests."