Elton John

Elton John

Elton John, who has a huge following in Russia, has criticised the removal of a monument to Steve Jobs simply because current Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as gay.

The star’s husband, David Furnish, wrote on Facebook that while other performers had chosen to boycott Russia because of its gay propaganda law, the singer had been urged by local LGBT groups to rather continue to visit Russia and speak out.

On Sunday, John used a performance in St. Petersburg, where the memorial had been erected before being taken down, to address growing homophobia in the country.

Furnish posted a transcript of the singer’s comments to the audience, in which he addressed the absurdity of the situation.

“I’m not big on technology, but I love my iPad. They’re amazing, aren’t they? The way they can connect us to the things and people we love. How dignified that St. Petersburg should erect a memorial to Steve Jobs, the remarkable founder of Apple. But last week it was labelled ‘homosexual propaganda’ and taken down,” said John.

“Can this be true? Steve’s memory is re-written because his successor at Apple, Tim Cook, is gay? Does that also make iPads gay propaganda? Is Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music ‘sexually perverting’?” asked the performer.

He went on to say: “As a gay man, I’ve always felt so welcome here in Russia. Stories of Russian fans – men and women who fell in love dancing to Nikita or their kids who sing along to Circle of Life – mean the world to me.

“If I’m not honest about who I am, I couldn’t write this music. It’s not gay propaganda. It’s how I express life. If we start punishing people for that, the world will lose its humanity. Hate is ugly. Love is beautiful,” insisted John.

According to Furnish, the speech was met with thunderous applause and John received a standing ovation at the end of the show.

Cook recently became the first Fortune 500 CEO to come out as gay, writing: “I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

The iPhone-shaped two-metre-high memorial to Jobs was taken down just days after because it could be seen as a symbol of so-called “gay propaganda.”

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