It is not a surprise for anybody that Russia has a very strict position regarding homosexuality. Not only the country’s policy outlawed homosexuality, but it seems like the public opinion on the matter is one of the most hostile in the world. In fact, Russia is one of the countries where the intolerance regarding gays actually raised during the last years; from 60% of the people pronouncing themselves against gay rights, in 2002, to 72% in 2013.
The issue is still hot and many criticized Russia’s politics. It is now Sir Elton John’s turn to enter the ring, as he recently stated that he intends to have a meeting with president Putin, in order to discuss the gay matter. He said, in an interview for BBC, that he would like to meet Putin for a cup of tea and talk about the situation, because he considers Putin’s attitude towards the subject “ridiculous, isolating and prejudiced”. “I would tell him – Come on, gay people are not the problem. The world faces much bigger problems than gay people. Let’s all pull together and try to solve the problems of the world.”
He also added that he didn’t care if Putin laughed behind his back thinking he is an idiot, but at least he would have had a clear conscience, knowing that he tried. What caused Elton John to target Putin was that one interview that Putin gave in January 2014 for BBC, during which he mixed homosexuals and pedophiles in the same category. In that interview Putin stated that no man is discriminated based on his sexual orientation, because: “Read our law carefully and pay attention to its name. It is called ‘Ban on the propaganda of pedophilia and homosexuality’. There are countries, including in Europe, where they are debating the possibility of legalizing pedophilia. In Parliament they can do what they want, but people of Russia have their own traditions. It seems to me that the law we adopted doesn’t harm anybody.”
This statement contradicts the actual facts taking place in Russia. The law forbids everyone, including psychologists, doctors and teachers, to offer help to gay teenagers and they are treated with contempt and rejection. It may be because of this statement that also belongs to Putin: “We don’t hold anyone responsible for those relations (homosexual) like other countries. That’s why you can feel free, relaxed as long as you leave children alone.” These public declarations intrigued Sir Elton John, making him declare: “Give me a break! You are the president of Russia, and you go say stupid things like that?”
It’s not the first time when Elton John publicly defends gay rights. In March, this year, he broke all relations to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, when they publicly admitted that they consider homosexuality and gay marriage unnatural, also opposing to gay adoptions, because “procreation must be an act of love”.
Whether Sir Elton will keep his word and set a meeting with Putin or not, only future will tell.