Tuesday, November 11, 2014 4:53am ET by  
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Elton John makes gay rights speech at Russia gig

Sir Elton John took time out at a recent concert in Russia to speak about gay rights.

The country has often been criticised for its apparent poor record when it comes to equality for the LGBT community.

Elton John performed in St. Petersburg on Sunday (November 9) and he made a speech about Russia's attitude to gay rights.

Using as inspiration the apparent removal of a statue of Apple's Steve Jobs after the company's CEO Tim Cook revealed he was gay, the musician said:

"I’m not big on technology, but I love my iPad! They’re amazing, aren’t they? The way they can connect us to the things and people we love...How dignified that St. Petersburg should erect a memorial to Steve Jobs, the remarkable founder of Apple. But last week it was labelled ‘homosexual propaganda’ and taken down!

"Can this be true? Steve’s memory is re-written because his successor at Apple, Tim Cook, is gay?! Does that also make iPads gay propaganda?! Is Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music ‘sexually perverting’?! As a gay man, I’ve always felt so welcome here in Russia. Stories of Russian fans - men and women who fell in love dancing to ’Nikita’ or their kids who sing along to ‘Circle of Life’ - mean the world to me.

"If I’m not honest about who I am, I couldn’t write this music. It’s not gay propaganda. It’s how I express life. If we start punishing people for that, the world will lose its humanity."

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Watch Elton John perform live below: