On December 6 and 7, Elton John will play two concerts in Russia. As the world's most visible gay entertainer, he must speak out during both concerts and oppose the Russian government’s continuing attacks on LGBT Russians.
In June, Russia enacted a law that effectively makes it a crime to make any pro-LGBT statement in public or private and on the Internet. Russia also banned adoptions of Russian children by people from any jurisdiction that allows same sex marriage. Russia’s parliament briefly considered legislation that would allow the government to remove children from any home that is headed by gay or lesbian Russians. While that legislation has been withdrawn, some advocates expect it will be considered again after the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia are over.
Russian government officials and state-run media outlets have kept up a stream of anti-LGBT hate speech that has intensified a pre-existing campaign of violence by Russian neo-Nazis and nationalists targeting LGBT Russians. These thugs act with complete impunity and post videos of their brutal attacks on web sites. The Russian government has done nothing in response.
While some artists and performers, such as Cher and Wentworth Miller, have refused to travel to Russia because they will not associate their work with the Russian government’s bigotry and violence. Since Elton John has chosen to perform in Russia, he must speak out!