Vladimir Putin hits back at Sir Elton John over gay rights claim
Russian president Vladimir Putin has responded to criticism from Sir Elton John over the country’s attitude towards LGBT+ rights.
The singer accused Mr Putin of “hypocrisy” over his claims that Russia has “no problems” with LGBT+ people.
Writing on social media Sir Elton said, “I strongly disagree with your view that pursuing policies that embrace multicultural and sexual diversity are obsolete in our societies.”
He said he was “deeply upset” by the remarks made by the Russian president in an interview with the Financial Times.
I deeply respect him, he is a musical genius
In the interview, published on Friday, Mr Putin said of the LGBT+ community, “God forbid, let them live as they wish.”
Responding to Sir Elton’s remarks Mr Putin told a news conference on Saturday (June 29): “I deeply respect him, he is a musical genius and we all love his performance, but I believe he’s mistaken.”
Sir Elton voiced his concerns over a Russian decision to censor scenes featuring gay sex and drug use from Rocketman.
But the Russian president said the ban was aimed at protecting children from “propaganda.”
“Let a person grow up first before making a choice,” he said. “Let the children in peace.
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“Our attitude to the LGBT community is absolutely calm and unbiased.”
Writing on social media Sir Elton hit back: “I strongly disagree with your view that pursuing policies that embrace multicultural and sexual diversity are obsolete in our societies.
“I find duplicity in your comment that you want LGBT people to ‘be happy’ and that ‘we have no problem in that’.
“Yet Russian distributors chose to heavily censor my film Rocketman by removing all references to my finding true happiness through my 25 year relationship with David and the raising of my two beautiful sons.
“This feels like hypocrisy to me.”