When Elton John requests a conversation with you, it’s pretty difficult to turn down his offer – even if you’re the President of Russia.
After Sir Elton John said he wanted to meet Vladimir Putin to discuss his “ridiculous” attitude towards gay people, Putin paid him a phone call.
And John let the world know on Instragram.
“Thank you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today,” John wrote on his Instagram account. “I look to forward to meeting with you face to face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia.”
He didn’t give specifics about the nature of the conversation or reveal when and where they’d meet.
Putin’s phone call came in the wake of harsh criticism from John in nearby Ukraine, where he met the president, Petro Poroshenko, to promote LGBT rights. Of course, both Russia and Ukraine have a poor track record on the issue, and same-sex couples are often ridiculed and attacked.
John has long campaigned to end the country’s law against the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors,” which has pretty much made it illegal to disseminate material on LGBT rights and has increased homophobic violence.
The British musician – who is popular in Russia – has condemned the law at concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Last year, he even published an open letter calling for its repeal. Then, on Saturday, John told BBC that he wanted to meet Putin to discuss his stance on gay rights, which he called isolating, prejudiced and ridiculous, especially the law against gay propaganda.
Until now, Putin has showed no signs of backing down on his stance against gay rights. In fact, last week he awarded a medal “for service to the fatherland” to a vocally anti-gay St. Petersburg politician known for helping to inspire the gay propaganda law.
As for the outcome of their meeting, we’ll have to wait and see what happens. The best case scenario, of course, would see Putin repeal the gay propaganda law (fingers crossed).