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Elton John Lashes Out At Homophobia


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Elton John Lashes Out At Homophobia

by Peter Moore, 365Gay.com London Bureau

Posted: December 18, 2005 11:00 am ET

(London) Just days from his civil partnership with longtime partner David Furnish, singer Elton John has lashed out at countries opposing LGBT civil rights.

In an op-ed article for the Observer newspaper John writes "Next Wednesday, on the happiest day of my life, when I celebrate a civil partnership with David, I will be thinking, however, about those less fortunate than we are. In many countries, having a same-sex partner is still outlawed."

He goes on to note a number of examples where gays "live in constant fear."

In the United Arab Emirates 26 men are under arrest allegedly holding a 'gay wedding ceremony' and if convicted, they could face imprisonment, flogging and possibly hormone treatment to 'cure' them of their 'disorder'. (story)

He cites Jamaica where gay HIV/AIDS care worker Steve Harvey was murdered on World Aids Day. (story)

"It is precisely because homosexuality is a criminal offence, punished with up to 10 years' hard labor in Jamaica, that ordinary people feel it is OK to hate and exclude gay people," the John writes. "It does not take long for this hate to turn to violence."

The singer also writes that "In Africa it is not uncommon for leaders to build their reputations as 'strong men' by using a platform of homophobia."

He denounces Poland where Lech Kaczynski who was elected President earlier this year, as mayor of Warsaw, banned gay pride celebrations. (story)

"Throughout history, gay people such as myself and David have often been made scapegoats by those who fear that we are a threat to the status quo," John writes, urging gays to become politically involved.

"I strongly believe we can make a difference if we show solidarity with those who are bullied and ill-treated for their sexuality by bombarding the authorities with letters, faxes and emails making it clear that we know about these abuses and calling for them to end. Amnesty International has found that shining this kind of spotlight on human rights abusers really does work."


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