Elton John Condemns Russia’s Anti-gay Laws During Moscow Show

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December 8, 2013 | 6:25pm EST

Sir Elton John risked the wrath of Russian authorities on Friday by condemning the country’s “inhumane” laws banning gay propaganda during his concert in Moscow.
The openly gay singer hit the stage at Crocus City Hall to perform a hits-packed set, but he took a little time out of the show to address the controversy surrounding the nationwide legislation.
The Rocket Man star admitted he was “sad to learn” of the ban, which outlaws the promotion of homosexuality to minors, and added, “In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating.”
Elton also dedicated his gig to Vladislav Tornovoi, a local gay man who was killed because of his sexuality earlier this year, according to the BBC.
The rocker recently insisted he would be ignoring calls for him to boycott Russia as a protest over the country’s new legislation – because he owed it to fans to perform.
He said, “I’m going to go – I’ve been going there since 1979 and I have had great times in Russia. What’s happening there is so awful. But I’ve been asked to go. People from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community over there have said please come. I don’t want to abandon them. I mean, if you don’t go, you know, you’re saying stick it.”
The musician is the first artist to speak out about the laws while performing in Russia since they came into effect in June, but his views could land him a 15-day prison sentence and heavy fines if officials decide to take action.
Lady Gaga and Madonna had previously voiced their opposition to the proposals during shows there last year, actions which landed the promoter of Gaga’s gig with a hefty fine, while the Material Girl was slapped with a $10.5 million lawsuit over the “moral damage” she had inflicted upon locals by lending her support to the gay community. However, that case was subsequently thrown out of court.