Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing
Today Elton John paused during his performance in Moscow to denounce Russia’s anti-LGBT laws and dedicated the show to the memory of Vladislav Tornovoi, a 23-year-old who was murdered on May 9 after coming out to a pair of longtime friends.
Currently, Elton John is in Russia for two concerts, one today in Moscow and a second in the Volga city of Kazan on Saturday. The superstar has received some flack in recent weeks for his refusal to cancel his tour.
People around the world are speaking out on social media against Russia's heinous anti-LGBT laws. Since the laws have passed, violence toward the LGBT community has increased in the area.
To stand with HRC in our effort to support LGBT equality in Russia, visit loveconquershate.org.
Watch video of the concert here.
Read Elton John’s statement from the stage below. (H/T Joe My God.)
"You took me to your hearts all these years ago and you've always welcomed me with warmth and open arms any time I've visited. You have always embraced me and you have never judged me. So 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. People have demanded that because of this legislation, I must not come here to Russia. But many, many more people asked me to come and I listened to them. I love coming here.
I want to show them and the world that I care and that 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're 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 this spirit in your life and in your heart. I wish you love and peace and health and happiness. And this show is dedicated to the memory of Vladislav Tornovoi.”