Venice mayor hits back at Sir Elton over gay book ban

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The mayor of Venice has hit back at Sir Elton John after the star criticised his ban on ‘gay’ children’s books.

Sir Elton John spoke out against the Mayor of Venice last week – after he banned ‘gay’ children’s books from primary schools.

The city has undergone changes under newly-elected right-wing Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who decreed in June that primary schools and nurseries should be purged of books featuring same-sex couples. 

Over a thousand copies of ‘And Tango Makes Three’ – which is about two male penguins bringing up a chick – were among those removed from circulation.

Sir Elton John – who has children Zachary and Elijah with his husband David Furnish – spoke out against the move on social media earlier this week.

Sharing a picture of ‘The Family Book’ by Todd Parr on Instagram, he wrote: “Here is one of the Furnish-John family’s favourite storybooks.

“It champions an all-inclusive world where families come in all shapes, sizes and colours. And most importantly, that families are about love. Our boys adore it.

“And in the opposing corner we have Luigi Brugnaro, the extremely silly looking mayor of Venice. He’s stupidly chosen to politicise children’s books by banning titles that touch on same sex families living happily ever after.”

However, Brugnaro has hit back, saying if the legendary singer really cares about Venice, then he should donate money to help protect the city’s cultural treasures from rising sea levels, reports The Telegraph.

“Dear Elton, I challenge you to donate resources to save Venice,” the mayor tweeted.

Attacking the Rocket Man singer’s bank balance, he said that Sir Elton represented “the arrogance of those who are rich and can do anything,” despite Sir Elton being named Britain’s most charitable celebrity earlier this year.

In another tweet, he said: “I have no problem with homosexuals…and I have no fear of your insults.”

Explaining his decision to remove the books, he wrote: “In Venice we don’t want to risk creating confusion among three-year-olds.”

“We don’t want to discriminate against anyone and at home parents can call themselves daddy number one and daddy number two, but I have to consider the majority of families, which have a mum and a dad,” he said.

However, Sir Elton accused the mayor of failing to encourage “a world based on inclusiveness, tolerance and love,” opting instead to champion “a future society that’s divisive and fosters ignorance.”

“Beautiful Venice is indeed sinking,” Sir Elton said, “but not as fast as the boorishly bigoted Brugnaro. #ShareTheLove”