Elton John Offers to Introduce Putin to Gay Russians

Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from RIA Novosti: http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140123/186848720/Elton-John-Offers-to-Introduce-Putin-to-Gay-Russians.html

Openly gay British pop star Sir Elton John, whom Russian President Vladimir Putin recently called an “outstanding person,” wants to introduce the head of state to members of that country’s LGBT community who “deserve to be heard.”

John wrote on his website Wednesday that a Russian law passed last year banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors meant that “vicious homophobia has been legitimized” and had “given extremists the cover to abuse people’s basic human rights.”

The singer wrote that he 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 [in December].”

Dubbed the “anti-gay law” by Western media, the federal legislation signed by Putin in June “explicitly links homosexuality with child sex abuse, which countless studies have shown to be conclusively wrong,” wrote the pop star, who has performed several times in Russia since first giving a concert in the Soviet Union back in 1979.

Putin said in an interview last week that gay people were welcome to attend the upcoming Winter Olympics being held in the southern Russian city of Sochi next month, as long as they “leave children in peace.”

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