VANCOUVER - Activist and actor George Takei, best known as helmsman Lt. Sulu in the original Star Trek series, is boldly going where tens of thousands have gone before, denouncing Russia's anti-gay laws, calling instead for the 2014 Games to move to Vancouver from Sochi.

He's the latest celebrity to weigh in on the Olympic controversy, endorsing a petition at Change.org that had garnered more than 55,000 supporters by Wednesday afternoon.

Russia "intends to enforce its laws against visiting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) athletes, trainers and fans, meaning anyone even so much as waving a rainbow flag (and I presume many men enthusiastically watching and dramatically commenting on figure skating) would be arrested, held for weeks and then deported," he wrote in a blog post posted Tuesday.

"Given this position, the (International Olympic Committee) must do the right thing, protect its athletes and the fans, and move the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Russia."

Takei noted Vancouver's facilities are still in good condition and the city would be the easiest of possible alternatives. Moving the Games, he said, would be much better than a boycott — one of the options touted by some activists.

"A boycott of the games would punish athletes who have trained for years to participate, and a boycott of Russian vodka isn’t going to affect the kind of change needed," he wrote.

However, Vancouver Coun. Geoff Meggs said welcoming the Olympics back is not "like putting fresh sheets on the guest bed."

"I can understand the intention, but practically I don't see how it could happen," he said Wednesday, noting Vancouver had seven years to plan the 2010 Games after they were awarded.

"I think lots of people in Vancouver would love to have the Games again, but it's a question of who would pay for it and how it could possibly be done, and I don't think we know the answer to either of those questions," he said.

Meggs added Russia's policies are reprehensible, and a real step back from the 2010 Games when Vancouver hosted the first "Pride House."

Takei blogged that Russia's ban on "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" and its imposition of heavy fines directly contravenes the IOC's fundamental principals, and he argued such intolerance wouldn't be accepted if it were aimed at Jews, Roman Catholics or Muslims.

Takei said moving the Games wouldn't seem like an outlandish proposal if the discrimination was faced by those groups.

Both Meggs and Takei called for stronger leadership from the IOC.

But IOC spokesman Mark Adams said in an emailed statement the IOC has "received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that (anti-gay) legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games."

Russia's assurances to the IOC seemed to contradict a recent announcement by the country's sports minister.

"An athlete of non-traditional sexual orientation isn't banned from coming to Sochi," Vitaly Mutko said in an interview with R-Sport, the sports newswire of state news agency RIA Novosti. "But if he goes out into the streets and starts to propagandize, then of course he will be held accountable."

Adams said the nascent nature of Russia's legislation means it is too early to tell how it will be implemented, particularly with regard to the Games.

"As a sporting organization, what we can do is to continue to work to ensure that the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media," he said.

Thousands of Takei's followers have weighed in on the proposal to move the Games to Vancouver.

"Don't go to Russia and be beat by Putin, come to Canada to eat some poutine!" one poster, Kevin Dutrisac, wrote on Facebook.

Although most commentators seemed to be supportive, some questioned whether moving the Games would have the biggest impact.

"The best thing would be to expose the Russians' outlandish laws by massive demonstrations. Entire national teams should march in and out of the ceremonies with rainbow pins," wrote Thomas McGowan in the comments section of Takei's blog post.

British actor and writer Stephen Fry also called Wednesday for the Olympics to be moved, writing a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron and IOC executives asking them not to give Russian President Vladimir Putin "the approval of the civilized world."

"It is simply not enough to say that gay Olympians may or may not be safe in their village. The IOC absolutely must take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent against the barbaric, fascist law that Putin has pushed through the Duma," he wrote in the letter, which he also posted online.

"Let us not forget that Olympic events used not only to be athletic, they used to include cultural competitions. Let us realize that in fact, sport is cultural. It does not exist in a bubble outside society or politics."

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  • FILE - Riot police guard gay rights activists who were beaten by anti-gay protesters during an authorized gay rights rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, in this Saturday, June 29, 2013 file photo. Earlier in the year, President Vladimir Putin signed a law that will impose hefty fines for holding gay pride rallies or providing information about the gay community to minors. Amid a surge of anti-gay violence and repression in several countries, the United Nations’ human rights office on Friday, July 26, 2013 launched its first global outreach campaign aimed at promoting more tolerance and greater equality for lesbians, gays, transgender people and bisexuals. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)

  • Gay rights activists hold a banner reading "Homophobia - the religion of bullies" during their action in protest at homophobia, on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on Sunday, July 14, 2013. Police detained several gay activists. (AP Photo/Evgeny Feldman)

  • Maxim Lysak, Jury Gavrikov

    FILE - In this Saturday, June 29, 2013 file photo, riot police (OMON) officers detain gay rights activists Maxim Lysak and Jury Gavrikov during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia. As the hub of the Soviet Union, Russia was reviled for rights abuses by many U.S. conservatives during the Cold War. Now some are voicing support and admiration as Russian authorities crack down on gay-rights activism. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)

  • Riot police (OMON) guard gay rights activists who have been beaten by anti-gay protesters during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Gay rights activists shout slogans during their authorized rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Riot police (OMON) guard gay rights activists who have been beaten by anti-gay protesters during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Riot police (OMON) walk past sunbathers after an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Maxim Lysak, Jury Gavrikov

    Riot police (OMON) officers detain gay rights activists Maxim Lysak and Jury Gavrikov during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Riot police (OMON) officers detain gay rights activists during their authorized rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • An anti-gay protester, center, fights with gay rights activists during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Anti-gay protesters shout slogans at gay right activists during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Gay rights activists take part in a gay pride event in Saint Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on June 29 after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Jury Gavrikov

    Riot police (OMON) officers detain gay rights activist Jury Gavrikov during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Gay rights activists take part in a gay pride event in Saint Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on June 29 after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Anti-gay demonstrators gather on the sidelines of a gay pride event in Saint Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on June 29 after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Gay rights activists embrace each other after clashes with anti-gay demonstrators during a gay pride event in St. Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on Saturday after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Russian riot police detain gay rights activists during a gay pride event in St. Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on Saturday after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Russian riot police detain gay rights activists during a gay pride event in St. Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on Saturday after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)