YMCA songwriter will not perform at Sochi in protest against anti-gay law

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The lead singer of the Village People has said he will not perform YMCA in protest against Russia’s anti-gay law at Sochi later this year.

Gay rights advocates had suggested the idea that the song be played out over loudspeakers as the US Olympic team was introduced to protest against the law which bans the promotion of homosexuality.

Victor Willis, who wrote the lyrics to the track, went so far as to say that it was never meant as a gay anthem, and that it should not be used against the Russian law.

Speaking to WENN, Willis said it was never intended to be a gay anthem.

He recently regained ownership of the copyright to the song, and was invite to perform it at Sochi.

Willis said: “If they want to use the song that way, go right ahead, but I think it’s silly because the lyrics were written by me as an expression of urban youths having fun at the YMCA, he said.

“The words were crafted by me to be taken any number of ways but not specific to gays. It’s much broader than that. The song is universal.

“I don’t mind that gays think the song is about them but I won’t perform the song in support of any protest.

“But I would consider performing the song as part of the opening ceremonies and lead the stadium into the YMCA dance as a show of world unity because that’s something I believe the world can relate to.

“But I have only been asked to perform as part of a protest. And to that, I say no.”