Video: Elton John speaks out for LGBT rights at Moscow concert

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Elton John took to the stage in Moscow last night, spoke of his support for LGBT rights, and dedicated the evening to murdered gay Russian Vladislav Tornovoi.

Promoters of his Russian concerts dispelled rumours that the star would not perform because of Russia’s recently introduced anti-gay law.

Sir Elton last month in a CNN interview that he wouldn’t be cancelling the performances, despite the law which bans the promotion of homosexuality to minors.

In the (slightly out of focus) video, he says: “You took me to your hears all those years ago, and you’ve always welcomed me with warmth and open arms every time I visited. You’ve always embraced me, and you have never judge me.

“I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia. In my opinion it is inhumane, and it is isolating.

“Some people have demanded that because of this legislation iI must not come here to Russia, but many many more asked me to come, and I listened. I love coming here.

“I want to show the [inaudible] that I care. I don’t believe in isolating people. Music is a very powerful thing. It brings people together irrespective of their age, their race, their sexuality or their religion. It does not discriminate.

Look around you tonight, you see men women, young and old, gay and straight. Thousands of happy Russian people enjoying the music.

“We are all here together in harmony, and harmony is what makes a happy family, and a strong society. The spirit we share tonight is what builds a future of equality, love and compassion, for my children and for your children.

“Please don’t leave it behind when you leave tonight – each and every one of you please keep the spirit in your life, and in your heart. I wish you love and peace and health and happiness.”

He went on to dedicate the concert to Vladislav Tornovoi who was raped with beer bottles and had his skull smashed with a stone earlier this year.

An Imam in the city of Kazan, the capital of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, in October warned followers that they should boycott yesterday’s concert.

The singer was described as dressing in a way to promote “homosexual propaganda” by a Russian Communist group in June.

Several Russian homophobic groups last month called on authorities to ban the upcoming Elton John concert, saying that allowing the pop icon to perform would make a “mockery” of the country’s anti-gay laws.