Elton John has urged people to stand up against homophobia in an interview with the New Statesman.

Sir Elton, who celebrates his 60th birthday this weekend, used the interview to raise the case of William Hernandez, a gay rights activist from El Salvador.

Mr Hernandez runs an organisation which campaigns against planned amendments to the Salvadorian constitution which would formally prevent gay marriage.

He had his offices raided and was threatened at gun point.

“I want to shine a spotlight on William Hernandez and the many, many individuals who stand up for human rights around the world, at great risk to their personal safety,” said John.

“People like William are a lot braver than me. When the bigots shout abuse, they shout back.

“My voice has served me pretty well over the years; I hope maybe it can do him some good too. But we need more voices.

“Whether the bigot is in our local pub or a thousand miles away, we should all stand up and speak out for these basic human rights.”

Sir Elton also spoke about his relationship with long term partner David Furnish.

“In December 2005 I was legally bound to the man I love. It’s my legal right and my human right. And I wanted everyone to know, I wanted to shout about it.

“In some countries, my voice would have been drowned out. Maybe even stamped out.”

In separate news, the singer is releasing his entire catalogue of songs online, to coincide with his 60th birthday.

The thirty albums, consisting of more than four hundred tracks, will be available on Apple’s iTunes service from March 26th to April 30th, when it will become available on other legal download services.

In January, new chart rules came into effect which made any song eligible for chart entry regardless of its age or whether a physical copy was also available in shops.

That means Sir Elton, assuming he sells enough downloads, could soon be enjoying new hits with his old songs.