Elton John spoke out about gay persecution in Russia as he performed a concert in St Petersburg and said the world would lose its "humanity" if people were punished for their sexuality.
He made his views known while he was on-stage at the city’s Ice Palace last night.
His performance comes just days after a sculpture commemorating former Apple boss Steve Jobs placed at a university campus in the city was dismantled because his successor has announced he is gay.
The singer said: “I’m not big on technology, but I love my iPad! They’re amazing, aren’t they? They way they can connect us to the things and people we love.
“How dignified that St Petersburg should erect a memorial to Steve Jobs, the remarkable founder of Apple. But last week it was labelled ‘homosexual propaganda’ and taken down.
“Can this be true? Steve’s memory is rewritten because his successor at Apple, Tim Cook, is gay? Does that also make iPads gay propaganda? Is Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music ‘sexually perverting’?
“As a gay man, I’ve always felt so welcome here in Russia. Stories of Russian fans — men and women who fell in love dancing to ‘Nikita’, or their kids who sing along to ‘Circle Of Life’ — mean the world to me.
“If I’m not honest about who I am, I couldn’t write this music. It’s not gay propaganda. It’s how I express life. If we start punishing people for that, the world will lose its humanity.”
In January, he wrote an open letter offering to introduce Russian President Vladimir Putin to members of the gay community in his country to show the impact of “deeply divisive” legislation.
It came after Putin denied he was homophobic, pointing out that he had gay friends and was a fan of the musician.
Elton wrote: “The people I met in Moscow were decent, kind, patriotic men and women who had no thought of forcing their sexuality on anyone.
“Whatever the intention of Russia’s homosexuality and paedophilia propaganda laws, I am absolutely clear from my own personal experience that it is proving deeply dangerous to the LGBT community and deeply divisive to Russian society.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved