Elton John speaks out against Russia's "inhumane" and "isolating" anti-gay laws

The singer issued a moving and empowering speech to an audience in Moscow

By Prachi Gupta

Published December 9, 2013 3:58PM (EST)

Despite one imam's attempt to boycott pop singer Sir Elton John, the singer performed in Russia this past weekend and publicy decried the nation's notorious anti-gay laws, calling them "inhumane" and "isolating."

John dedicate his Moscow concert to Vladislav Tornovoi, the 23-year-old man who was tortured and killed in May after reportedly coming out as gay. "You have always embraced me and you have never judged me," John, who is openly gay, said to the crowd. "So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia."

Unlike Cher, who took a stand against Russia's laws by refusing to perform in the country, John performed because he does not "believe in isolating people."

"As a gay man, I can't leave these people on their own," he said. "I wish you love and peace and happiness."


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Elton John Gay Rights Homosexuality Lgbt Rights Music Russia Video