A committee of Russian parents is urging President Vladimir Putin to ban two upcoming Elton John concerts.
“The singer intends to come out in support of local sodomites and break the current Russian law,” says an open letter by a local parents group in the central Ural region, Reuters reports.
The comments come in the wake of Russia’s new “gay propaganda” ban, which was signed into law by Putin in June.
It essentially bans displays of homosexuality and makes it "illegal to spread information about non-traditional sexual behaviour" to minors (under 18s).
In an interview with The Guardian earlier this month, the singer insisted he wanted to perform in Russia to support the gay community.
"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, before reminiscing about having sex on a Moscow rooftop with a translator during his 1979 Soviet Union tour.
John’s forthcoming December gigs have also been described as an “amoral sabbath” by Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods coordinator Yuri Ageshchev.
“The statement by this gay guy – Elton John – about his support for gays and other perverts during the upcoming concert in Moscow is an insult to all Russian citizens,” Ageshchev said.
“It also makes a mockery of our recently enacted law against the public propaganda of gay ideas,” he said to Novy Region news agency, in quotes translated by The Moscow Times.
In an interview with NPR on Monday, John discussed his planned trip amidst the controversial new law. He said:
"I'm not going to go into Russia and tell [Vladimir Putin] to go to hell and things like that. That's not the way things are done. You chip away at something, and you hope there will be dialogue and that the situation can get better. You don't just go in there with guns blazing and say, 'Well, to hell with you.' Because they're going to say, 'To hell with you, and get out of the country.' That's not going to solve anything. But if I can go there, maybe I can talk to some people in the administration."
The legislation gives the Russian government the right to detain gay or "pro-gay" foreigners up to 14 days before facing expulsion from the country and caused a wave of protests at the implication homosexual athletes and supporters could face arrest at the country's upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014.
Among a wave of protests was a viral blog from Stephen Fry, urging for Russia to be stripped of the event.Suggest a correction