baltics / czech republic / entertainment / homophobia / lithuania / russia

Russian right: Elton John’s concert “insulting” to all Russian citizens

PinkNews is reporting that several far-right Russian groups have come out against permitting Elton John to perform in Russia later this year.

Yuri Ageshchev, the leader of religious fundamentalist group, the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods, told Novy Region news agency: “The statement by this gay guy – Elton John – about his support for gays and other perverts during the upcoming concert in Moscow is an insult to all Russian citizens.”

“It also makes a mockery of our recently enacted law against the public propaganda of gay ideas,” he said.

Mr Ageshchev also called on Russian citizens and the Church to oppose the upcoming concert in Moscow on 6 December, calling the event an “amoral sabbath.”

A separate group of conservative activists, the Ural Parents Committee, has also written to President Vladimir Putin directly to ask him to ban Sir Elton’s upcoming show.

In an open letter to Putin, the local parents’ group said: “The singer intends to come out in support of local sodomites and break the current Russian law, directed at protecting children.”

Meanwhile, in an interview on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” program yesterday, Elton John had this to say:

“On one hand, I want to say, ‘I’m not going and you can go to hell, you guys.’ But that’s not helping anyone who’s gay or transgendered over there. I’ve been going to Russia since 1979. I’ve been going quite frequently, and I’ve always had a wonderful rapport with the Russian audiences and with the Russian people. And you know there are a lot of great Russian people out there who are outraged by what’s going on, but they don’t have — I don’t want to abandon them.

He went on to add:

I’m aware of the situation and I will be diplomatic. I’m not going to go into Russia and tell [Vladimir Putin] to go to hell and things like that. That’s not the way things are done. You chip away at something, and you hope there will be dialogue and that the situation can get better.

“You can make a statement and you can read it from the stage, but it would be nice, and it would be much more fulfilling to try and meet with people in Moscow and say, ‘Listen, this is just, you know, this is silly. It’s a reactionary knee-jerk thing. It’s harming your reputation in the rest of the world. It’s not doing you any good. There has to be some discussion here. What you’re doing is outrageous.’

Elton John’s world tour will take him to Moscow on December 6, and Kazan, the capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan. The performer will also make appearances in Prague and Kaunas, Lithuania, later that month.

(Sources: PinkNews.com, EltonJohn.com, The Gaily Grind)

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