Elton John: Anti-Gay Parents Urge Gigs Halted
A parents' group has urged the Russian President to cancel an Elton John concert, saying the veteran performer plans to violate a ban on "homosexual propaganda".
In an open letter to Vladimir Putin, the local parents' committee in the central Ural region reportedly said: "The singer intends to come out in support of local sodomites and break the current Russian law, directed at protecting children."
The law is part of a broader attempt by Mr Putin to win over Russians in the mostly conservative country following protests against his rule.
Gay activists say the propaganda law has increased discrimination against them and emboldened vigilante-style attacks.
It has prompted calls - including from Stephen Fry - for a boycott of Russia's hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Sir Elton is planning to perform on December 6 in Moscow and December 7 in Kazan.
Earlier this month, the British singer said he wanted to perform in Russia to support the gay community.
"As a gay man, I can't leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don't know what's going to happen, but I've got to go," he said in an interview with The Guardian.
During the interview, Sir Elton reminisced about having sex on a Moscow rooftop with a translator during his 1979 Soviet Union tour.
Sir Elton, who is one of the world's most prominent gay celebrities, lives with his partner David Furnish and their two children in southern France.
Madonna and Lady Gaga criticised the anti-gay law in concerts in St Petersburg last year, leading Moscow to implement harsher visa rules for performers coming to Russia.
Selena Gomez, who has not spoken out over gay rights in Russia, was forced to cancel two concerts earlier this month after apparently falling foul of the new regulations.
Cher turned down an invitation to perform at Russia's Winter Games in Sochi because of the anti-gay propaganda, saying the decision was a "no brainer".
The parents' committee was unavailable for comment, despite repeated phone calls.