Jan 22 - Singer Elton John releases statement slamming Russia's anti-gay laws after Moscow visit in December. Bob Mezan reports.
Elton John has spoke out against Russia's ban on homosexual propaganda, saying the law legitimized homophobia and provided legal cover to extremists in the country. John's 500-word statement comes three days after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country was welcoming to gays, citing the popularity of Elton John as evidence. John said he was able to gain a first-hand understanding of the law's effect on the LGBT community during his visit to Moscow in December, where he performed a concert. Russia's law bans the dissemination of gay propaganda among minors, and has become a focal point of criticism by the West and human rights activists who say the law is discriminatory and represents a crackdown on rights and freedoms under Putin.