“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.”
– Elton John, Jan. 22, 2013
So, will Russian President Vladimir Putin accept Elton John’s offer? After all, the prez said recently that he digs Elton’s music.
As many media outlets are reporting today, Elton has offered to introduce Mr. Putin to members of Russia’s gay community to show the impact of “deeply divisive” anti-gay legislation there.
By impact, Elton means this, according to a report on the Belfast Telegraph site:
Sir Elton said he had wanted to hear “first hand” on a visit last month what differences the legislation had made to people.
“What I heard reinforced all the media stories that have been circling since the propaganda Bill became federal law: that vicious homophobia has been legitimised by this legislation and given extremists the cover to abuse people’s basic human rights,” he said.
“The people I met in Moscow – gay men and lesbians in their 20s, 30s and 40s – told me stories about receiving threats from vigilante groups who would ‘cure’ them of homosexuality by dousing them with urine or beating them up. One young man was stalked outside a gay club by someone posing as a taxi driver who tried to garrotte him with a guitar string because he was a ‘sodomite’.
“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.”
God, I love Elton. I’m listening to his song Daniel as I write this . . . just sayin’ . . .
Way to go, Elton. We love you . . .
C’mon, Mr. Putin. Accept Elton’s invitation. Show the world that you’ve got the music of love in your soul . . . because Elton does. That’s why you love his music so much . . .