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Putin fires back at Elton John over gay rights in Russia

Elton John slams Vladimir Putin as hypocritical in open letter over his remarks on LGBT issues Source: Ian Gavan/Getty Images (June 29, 2019)

(CNN) — Russian President Vladimir Putin fired the latest round Satuday in a tiff with Elton John over gay rights.

“Somebody came up with this idea of five or six genders,” Putin said at a G20 news conference in Japan. “I don’t even understand what they mean.”

The war of words started with a Putin interview in the Financial Times. The paper said Putin accused liberal governments of pursuing a mindless multiculturalism and embracing sexual diversity, among others things.

“I am not trying to insult anyone because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia,” Putin said in the interview published Thursday. “But we have no problem with LGBT persons. God forbid, let them live as they wish. But some things do appear excessive to us. They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles.”

“Let everyone be happy, we have no problem with what,” Putin told the outlet. “But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.”

John, who is gay, fired back in a social media post Friday, saying he was “deeply upset” by the interview and strongly disagrees with Putin’s view.

“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,” the singer said.

John said Putin’s statement felt like “hypocrisy.”

“I am proud to live in a part of the world where our governments have evolved to recognize the universal human right to love whoever we want,” John said.

Last month, the musician slammed Russian distributors for editing out gay sex scenes from his biopic, “Rocketman.” A distributor told state news agency TASS it cut the scenes to comply with Russian legislation.

John and the filmmakers said in a statement that they rejected “in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor ‘Rocketman’ for the Russian market.”

In his statement Friday, John applauded government policies that allow LGBT people to legally marry.

Saturday in Japan, Putin said, “Speaking of Elton John, I respect him very much … but I think he is mistaken.

“I didn’t overstate anything,” he added. “We have a law that everybody is angry at us because of the law that doesn’t allow propaganda of homosexuals among underage population. Let’s let the kids grow and then let them decide what they want to do.”

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  • Kevin Rahe

    Two men cannot be raising a child together without the child being deprived of at least one of his or her original parents. I pray that such deprivation was not designed before Mr. John’s children were even conceived.

    • j cool

      is you name really matt mccartney, i bet your a russian troll or maybe trump using a fake name. Grow up. Sir elton john is trying to help spread democracy. We jknow russia claims it is democracacy while squashing human rights

  • j cool

    Many people lose both parents at an early age, its a fairly natural occurrence. Sir elton john is correct in establishing that love and togetherness constitute family. People who suggest that any system in the world would allow someon to break up families to give a rich guy a kid are sick in the mind to think of it. People adopt children legally from deeply tragic situations.

    • Kevin Rahe

      According to my sources, Sir Elton John’s children were conceived from donated eggs and birthed by a surrogate. So he did indeed deprive two children of a parent (their mother) by design.

      Adoption is about finding parents for a child, not the other way around. We owe a child who has endured the tragedy of losing his or her original parents new parents who are as much what their original parents should have been as possible. At the very least that means a mother and a father. It certainly cannot mean letting them be raised by a same-gender couple, which is a highly unnatural place for a child to find himself or herself in – far more unnatural even than being raised by a single parent.

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