Main | Friday, December 06, 2013

RUSSIA: Elton John Denounces Anti-Gay Laws From Stage Of Moscow Concert, Dedicates Show To Slain Gay Man

"You took me to your hearts all these years ago and you've always welcomed me with warmth and open arms any time I've visited. You have always embraced me and you have never judged me. So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating. People have demanded that because of this legislation, I must not come here to Russia. But many, many more people asked me to come and I listened to them. I love coming here.

"I want to show them and the world that I care and that I don't believe in isolating people. Music is a very powerful thing. It brings people together irrespective of their age, their race, their sexuality, or their religion. It does not discriminate. Look around you tonight. You see men, women, young and old, gay and straight. Thousands of Russian people enjoying the music. We're all here together in harmony and harmony is what makes a happy family and a strong society.

"The spirit we share tonight is what builds a future of equality, love and compassion for my children and for your children. Please don't leave it behind when you leave tonight. Each and every one of you please, keep this spirit in your life and in your heart. I wish you love and peace and health and happiness. And this show is dedicated to the memory of Vladislav Tornovoi. - Elton John, reading from the stage tonight at his concert in Moscow.

NOTE: Vladislav Tornovoi was the 23 year-old gay man murdered earlier this year in Volgograd after coming out to drinking companions, who mutilated his genitals with a beer bottle and then set his body on fire.

NOTE II: I transcribed the above from a non-embeddable video posted to Facebook today. I'll post video here as soon as it becomes available.

NOTE III: It should go without saying Elton has certainly put himself at risk, although Russian authorities would likely be very hesitant to move on a star of his caliber. I wasn't crazy about the idea of him going to Russia at all, but I think he handled tonight admirably.

UPDATE: The clip has appeared on YouTube.

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