Sir Elton John and former Polish
President Lech Walesa on stage together at the Sopot Festival in Poland
on Saturday September 2. The audience gave Sir Elton an ovation
when he said: "I'm just a performer who plays
people some music. I hope that my music helps people to forget about
their problems for few hours. But I'm also a gay man and I've heard that
gay people face violence in Poland. Leave us [gays] alone. We don't want
to harm anybody. We just want to love and be loved."
(photo courtesy KPH)
LONDON, November 12, 2006 – The
UK Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) has given its backing to Sir
Elton John’s claim that religion promotes the hatred of gays, saying that it
is self-evidently true.
But the group draws the line at his
suggestion that religion be banned.
Commenting on Sir Elton’s remarks,
that were made in a discussion last August with Jake Shears of Scissors
published today by The Observer Music Monthly, GALHA’s secretary
George Broadhead said: "It should be quite clear to anyone that these days
most hostility to gay relationships and gay rights comes from religious
sources, notably Evangelical Anglicans, Christian pressure groups like the
Christian Institute, the Vatican, and Islamic organisations.
“Hardly a day passes without some
anti-gay proclamations, fatwa or edict being issued by one religious leader
or another,” he said.
“Religionists are campaigning
against our human rights, peddling their bigotry, telling us we’re sick,
diseased, perverted and destined for hell-fire, or promoting quack therapies
to ‘cure’ us.
“However, Sir Elton’s suggestion
that religion be banned is unworkable,” Mr. Broadhead continued. “Any
attempt to ban it would simply make it stronger and more determined.
“The right approach is to argue and
debate and try to convince religious believers that they are wrong when it
comes to gays.
But while we believe that all of
them – the pastors, the Pope and the imams – are entitled to express their
views, they should not be permitted by law to impose them on others, which
is what they are trying to do at present.
“Religious organisations are trying
hard to increase their political power and influence on the back of hatred
of gay people.
“The campaigns in America by
evangelical Christians to thwart gay marriage and reduce the rights of gay
people are proof of that.
“These same tactics are being used
by UK organisations like the Evangelical Alliance and the Christian
“Sir Elton John speaks for many
when he pinpoints religion as a primary generator of homophobia,” Mr.
Russian Gay Activist Tells London Audience He Will Fight On.
Russian gay activist Nikolai Alekseev has vowed to fight on after Moscow
Pride 2006 was officially banned by Moscow’s mayor and the resulting protest
was disrupted. He was speaking at the GALHA annual lunch. (UK
Gay News, November 12, 2006)