Elton John speaks out for new gay rights group

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Elton John has penned an article in support of new gay rights group Kaleidoscope.

Writing for the Huffington Post with Johann Hari, John called the non-profit group “remarkable” and called for readers to support it.

Kaleidoscope, which was launched last month, seeks to help LGBT people and emerging rights movements in countries such as Uganda and Ghana.

This is one of Hari’s first articles since being suspended by the Independent for plagiarism.

The pair wrote: “A remarkable group called Kaleidoscope has been set up in London, with global reach and a simple goal. Any gay person running for her life, or any gay group banding together to be treated like a human being, will be given the support they need, in the way they want it.

“Do they want quiet diplomatic pressure on their governments? Do they want computers? Do they want to be smuggled out? Do they want prominent gays to visit the country and sit in the courtrooms with them? What do they need?”

They added: “If Kaleidoscope attracts the support they deserve, we believe we will live to see the day when gay people are able to embrace openly on the streets of Kampala and Kingston and Kandahar.”

Kaleidoscope, founded by Tony Blair’s former speechwriter Lance Price, says it will work with local gay rights campaigners and lobby for equal rights in areas such as Africa and the Middle East.

Work will focus on giving individuals and campaigners the help they ask for – such as media skills, IT equipment or diplomatic pressure.

Speaking at the parliament launch of the group, Bisi Alimi, a Nigerian man who was beaten and threatened with death when he came out, said: “I am tired of international organisations coming to Africa to tell us what to do. Kaleidoscope is coming to Africa to say, ‘What do you want us to do?’, and that is the most important thing.

“Please support Kaleidoscope. We have a mission, we have a vision, but without you we might not be able to get it.”