Sir Elton John’s series of planned gigs in Russia will go ahead despite complaints over the country’s anti-gay laws, the promoter has confirmed.
However, the singer did promise to raise the issue of gay rights during his performance tonight (6 December) in Moscow, and his show in Kazan on Saturday.
Russian promoters SAV Entertainment released the following statement: “Despite the groundless rumours spread by the internet and media that Elton John's concerts in Russia could be cancelled, the organiser assures you that Elton John's shows in Moscow and Kazan will go ahead as planned.”
Earlier this year, a Russian parents’ committee asked president Vladimir Putin to cancel the singer's December concerts in an open letter, arguing that the 66-year-old singer would be violating the “homosexual propaganda” ban by performing.
The message, which was reported in local media, read: “The singer intends to come out in support of local sodomites and break the current Russian law, directed at protecting children.”
Another petition, by the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods, referred to the planned gigs as "amoral sabbath" and called Sir Elton's "support for gays and other perverts" an "insult to all Russian citizens".
The singer was told not to wear "flamboyant" clothes suggestive of his gay lifestyle on stage when he was due to play in the Russian region of Krasnodar in July. The show was later cancelled when Sir Elton fell ill.
Russia’s controversial new laws have led to calls to boycott next year’s Winter Olympics, due to be hosted in the country’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Lady Gaga urged British diver Tom Daley, who came out earlier this week, to boycott the event in February, despite the fact he's a diver and he doesn't compete in the winter games.
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