Sir Elton John wants to introduce Russian President Vladimir Putin to members of the gay community in the country to discuss the impact a new law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ has had on their lives.
The ‘Your Song’ hitmaker performed two concerts in Moscow, Russia, last December – shows that were rumoured to be cancelled following a new law which was passed in June which prohibits any “propaganda” that promotes “non-traditional sexual relations” in the country.
Elton – who has two sons, 12-month-old Elijah and Zachary, three, both born via a surrogate mother, with his husband David Furnish – has now extended an invitation to the politician to meet with him to discuss the law.
The musician posted on his website: “I would welcome the opportunity to introduce President Putin to some Russians who deserve to be heard, and who deserve to be treated in their own country with the same respect and warm welcome that I received on my last visit.”
The 66-year-old singer met with members of the LGBT community in Moscow when he was in the capital city and heard numerous stories from gay men and lesbians who had received threats from vigilante groups since the law had been passed.
Elton revealed: “Everyone shared stories of verbal and physical abuse at work, in bars and restaurants or in the street since the legislation came into force last June.
“And, some of the vital work providing HIV prevention information to the gay community has been labelled ‘homosexual propaganda’ and shut down.
“We are seeing extremely negative consequences as a result of this law, with the growth of hate crimes … I am 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.
“I wondered whether the new legislation banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ might have changed that. It hadn’t. I still felt the same warmth and welcome from the audiences that I have felt every time I have been in Russia.”
The controversial law was made as part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values instead of Western liberalism, which has been deemed to be a corrupting influence on the country’s youth by the Russian Orthodox Church.
As well as Elton numerous other high-profile musicians, including Lady Gaga, Madonna and Cher, have been outspoken on the treatment of the homosexuality community in Russia since the legislation was passed.