On Friday, Elton John performed in Russia, as planned, despite the country’s much-discussed anti-gay laws. Never one to shy from controversy, he addressed Russia’s ban on “homosexual propaganda” from the stage.
“Look around you tonight. You see men, women, young and old, gay and straight. Thousands of Russian people enjoying the music. We’re all here together in harmony and harmony is what makes a happy family and a strong society,” the 66-year-old singer told the audience.
He dedicated the show to Vladislav Tornovoi, a 23-year-old Russian man who was beaten to death in May for admitting to being gay.
“The spirit we share tonight is what builds a future of equality, love and compassion for my children and for your children. Please don’t leave it behind when you leave tonight,” he said.
In September, he told The Guardian it was his duty as a performer to help those oppressed by this law.
“As a gay man, I can’t leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ve got to go,” he said.
– Jude Dsouza / WNCX