Russian President Vladimir Putin Praises Elton John
Posted by Joseph Lee on 01.20.2014
Even though the country has anti-gay laws...
Yahoo News reports that Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Russia does not discriminate against gays and millions of Russians love Elton John "despite his orientation". This comes after several gay rights activists are calling for people to boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Putin said that all athletes and visitors will be welcome in spite of their sexuality.
He said: "People have different sexual orientation. We will welcome all athletes and all guests of the Olympics. [John] is "an outstanding person (and) outstanding musician. Millions of our people sincerely love him despite his orientation."
Activists were angered by a law that bans the use of what they call "gay propaganda" to minors. John himself spoke out against the law during a sold-out Moscow concert last month.
He said: "I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the (homosexual) community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating. Harmony is what makes a happy family and a strong society."
John has performed in Russia ever since 1979 with a concert that cemented his popularity in the country. He ignored requests to cancel his concerts after the law, saying that Russia's gays and lesbians would feel abandoned if performers did not visit and offer support.
Putin has defended the law, claiming it "does not offend anyone".
He added: "People with non-traditional sexual orientation cannot feel like they are second-rate because they are in no way discriminated against: not professionally, not career-wise, not when it comes to recognition by society."
He also denied rumors that US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande would no-show the event.