Thursday, 22 March 2007

Elton John urges fight against homophobia

Sir Elton John has launched a scathing attack on the world's homophobic "bigots".

Despite it being 40 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK, the singer has admitted that he still felt nervous about people's reactions when he entered into a civil partnership with his long-time love David Furnish in December 2005.

"I wanted to shout about it but I still felt nervous about the public's reaction," he wrote in the New Statesman. "I had feared that abusive, banner-waving bigots would try to spoil the occasion."

In his article Sir Elton calls for homophobia to be "shouted down" both in the UK and around the world."Whether the bigot is in our local pub or a thousand miles away, we should all stand up and speak out for basic human rights," he said.

"There has been substantial progress on gay rights in Britain, but we can't be complacent, not when homophobia still exists here and not when people around the world live in fear solely because of their sexuality."

He has joined forces with Amnesty International to draw attention to the problem of abuse against gay people. Putting a human face on the problem, the campaign focuses on William Hernandez, a human rights campaigner in El Salvador who has received death threats for his work.

"I shout out to William, a brave guy doing a dangerous and vital job," Sir Elton concludes. "My voice has served me pretty well over the years; I hope maybe it can do him some good, too. But we need more voices."


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