Elton John: Russian Anti-Gay Policy ‘Dangerous’
Elton John is once again taking on Russia and what he calls its "inhumane" anti-gay laws. After sternly criticizing state officials during a December concert in Moscow, the singer-songwriter has now written a more detailed condemnation, which he's posted on his website.
"Vicious homophobia has been legitimatized by this legislation and given extremists the cover to abuse people's basic human rights," John writes in his missive, which begins with a thank-you to fans: "[I'm] deeply grateful for the support of the Russian people who have welcomed and accepted me in their country ever since I first visited in 1979."
Last year, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a ban on "homosexual propaganda"; more recently, he linked homosexuality to pedophilia. The openly gay John performed in Moscow and in Kazan last month, despite smatterings of protests from anti-homosexual groups. While there, he discovered that hate crimes have been on the rise across the country.
"Whatever the intention of Russia's homosexuality and pedophilia propaganda laws," John concludes, "I am absolutely clear from my own personal experience that it is proving deeply dangerous to the LGBT community and deeply divisive to Russian society."