Friday, January 4, 2008

Is Elton John A Hypocrite?

Sir Elton John has surprised fans by announcing he will play his first gig in the United Arab Emirates later this month. The flamboyantly gay star, who has sold 250m albums in a four-decade career, will perform at an open-air concert in Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace Hotel. The decision could leave Sir Elton open to charges of hypocrisy, because of the UAE's poor record on human rights. Homosexuality is illegal: those convicted of it face jail sentences, or compulsary psychiatric 'treatment', including the injection of hormones designed to 'cure' them.

As well as being one of the world's best known gay men - often seen at events and parties with his civil partner David Furnish - Sir Elton is a high-profile Aids campaigner, heading his own charity. And in 2005, he wrote an impassioned article for the Guardian where he called on the Government to push for gay rights worldwide.

He wrote: "I want our government, which has presided over many positive changes for gay people here in Britain, to ensure that ending violations of gay people's fundamental human rights around the world becomes an explicit issue in its diplomatic relations with other countries."

Sir Elton first announced he was bisexual in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 1976, but later said he was homosexual. He met Furnish in 1993, and the pair enjoyed a civil partnership ceremony in 2005.

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