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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

Elton John wants to introduce gays to 'fan' Vladimir Putin

Agencies  London, January 23, 2014
First Published: 14:40 IST(23/1/2014) | Last Updated: 15:26 IST(23/1/2014)

Russian President Vladimir Putin had recently said that he does not run a homophobic regime and gays are welcome at the Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi next month.

And as proof, Putin said that he is a fan of Elton John's music. Putin made the comments while defending the country’s 'anti-gay' propoganda laws, adding of Sir Elton: "Millions of our people sincerely love him despite his orientation," Mirror.co.uk reports.

However, Sir Elton said that he would like to show Putin gay Russians who were attacked or threatened in the past, as a result of his gay propaganda laws, the Daily Star reported.

He said that Putin's legislation was promoting misunderstanding and ignorance and was deeply dangerous to the LGBT community.

The 66-year-old musician said that vicious homophobia has been legitimised by the legislation and given extremists cover to abuse people's basic human rights.

"I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the [homosexual] community here in Russia," he said at a sold-out concert in Moscow last month, reports ABC.net.au.

"In my opinion, it is inhuman and isolating. Harmony is what makes a happy family and a strong society."

John said that he had met gay men and lesbians in Moscow who told him about threats from vigilantes.

He added that he would welcome the opportunity to introduce Putin to some Russians who deserve to be heard, and to be treated in their own country with the same respect and warm welcome that he received on his last visit.

The 61-year-old president has previously argued that there couldn’t be any discrimination against homosexuals in his country, because he has gay friends, reports Mirror.co.uk.

He said: "I myself know some people who are gay. We’re on friendly terms. I’m not prejudiced in any way."

"Homosexual people can’t feel inferior here [in Russia] because there is no professional, career or social discrimination against them."

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