This past June, Russia passed a ban on “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” in part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values over Western liberalism.
Elton John, who has a concert scheduled in Moscow on December 6th, tells The Guardian he feels he has to go.
He explains, “I’ve got to think about what I’m going to say very carefully. There’s two avenues of thought: Do you stop everyone going, ban all the artists coming in from Russia? But then you’re really leaving the men and women who are gay and suffering under the anti-gay laws in an isolated situation. 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.”
The 66-year-old “Tiny Dancer” singer first visited the country in 1979. Elton says he faced similar scrutiny then, “I knew we were being watched all the time. I had an interpreter that they’d clearly set up. Actually, I ended up having sex with him on the roof of my hotel.”
In December of 2005, John entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish. They continue to be a champion for LGBT social movements worldwide and same-sex marriage. Through a surrogate mother, the pair have two children – Zachary (born December 2010) and Elijah (born January 2013).
Next week, Elton John will release his 31st studio album The Diving Board. John will perform in concert at Nationwide Arena in Columbus on November 20th.