Earlier this year Elton John caused some waves when he told Parade Magazine, “I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don’t know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East — you’re as good as dead.” That statement was certainly controversial and the backlash has been all the intolerant bullshit that you’d expect. The police even arrested one Georgia man who exposed his plot to have Elton murdered on YouTube. All of that made today’s news that Elton is now banned from playing in Egypt that much less of a surprise.
Elton was set to play a show there on May 18th, but it was cancelled after Mounir al-Wasimi, the head of Egypt’s Musician Union released a statement saying that he cold not allow “A homosexual who wants to ban religions, claimed that the prophet Issa (Jesus) was gay and calls for Middle Eastern countries to allow gays to have sexual freedom” on his turf. That’s lovely, huh? And it certainly disproves Elton’s claim that gay women in the Middle East may as well be dead!
Whenever anyone makes a statement about homosexuality and religion on any side of the issue, there’s going to be backlash from everyone else who believes differently. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that there are still people in the world who hold extreme grudges against those who live differently from them, but it’s stories like this that remind us that people are still fighting for equality. Hell, they’re still fighting for freedom of speech! These issues are sadly so far from resolved.