British pop star Sir Elton John spoke out against Russia's federal anti-gay gag law during his Dec 6 Moscow concert, calling it "inhumane" and isolating," a YouTube video posted on the Joe My God blog reveals.
In the video, John, seated at a piano onstage, observes that "some people have demanded that because of this legislation, I must not come here to Russia. But many, many more people asked me to come, and I listened to them. I love coming here."
He adds, "Music is a very powerful thing. It brings people together irrespective of their age, their race, their sexuality or their religion. It does not discriminate. Look around you tonight. You see men, women, young and old, gay and straight. Thousands of happy Russian people enjoying the music. We're all here together in harmony, and harmony is what makes a happy family and a strong society."
John dedicated the concert to the memory of 23-year-old gay man Vladislav Tornovoi, whose naked and beaten body was found in the courtyard of an apartment building in the southern Russian city of Volgograd in May, according to an Agence France-Presse report.
Prior to leaving for Russia, John said he wanted to perform in the country to support the LGBT community there.
Cher has said she turned down an invitation from a "big oligarch" to perform at the Sochi Winter Games next year.
At least two anti-gay groups called on authorities to ban John from performing in Moscow and Kaza.
In an interview with NPR published Sept 23, John says he's been going to Russia since 1979 and has always had a great rapport with his Russian audience.
"You know there are a lot of great Russian people out there who are outraged by what's going on," he says.