Elton John is back on a tour speaking out for gay rights in the Eastern European countries, as well as to raise awareness on AIDS.
“It takes a long time for things to happen. Look what just happened in Ireland: the vote for abortion. Things change. People ... they change their mind. And with a younger generation coming up, they are different kind of people, and they’re our future.” The 71-year-old singer said at a charity event in Kiev, Ukraine today.
The purpose of the British musician’s visit in Kiev is to support innovative HIV prevention and to raise awareness about AIDS, but he couldn't stay out of the Friday event in Ireland where the voters, a once deeply Catholic nation, backed a change to abortion laws by a landslide.
Ukraine has increased their support for gay rights since a pro-Western government took power following the Maidan protests in 2014. Last year Kiev hosted the Eurovision Song Contest with a slogan to “Celebrate Diversity”. A plan to paint a Soviet-era monument in rainbow colours was resisted by hard-right groups. But critics say homophobic attitudes in Europe remain widespread.
Elton John tried to adopt an HIV-positive baby in Ukraine 2009 but was refused permission by the authorities, who said prospective parents must be married and that Elton John’s civil partnership with David Furnish would not be recognized as such.
“We’ve made great progress but we still have a lot of work to do,” the British singer said today to the charity event in Kiev.