Test 2

Please select your preferred language.





Remember Me

New to Fridae?

Fridae Mobile


More About Us

25 Jul 2007

elton john regrets not speaking up on gay rights sooner; foundation backs nepal gay group

The Elton John AIDS Foundation has in a statement chastised the attitude of Nepalese government health officials after a local group, which is partially funded by the foundation, was asked to stop its support programme for gays and transgenders on the grounds that gays "polluted" society.

The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), an international charity that
supports AIDS intervention programmes, has issued a statement calling on the government of Nepal "to show leadership in promoting the rights of all its citizens including sensitising its regional officials, particularly those involved in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic to the needs and rights of sexual minority groups."

Sir Elton John: ''I have to speak my mind because as a gay man now I have a responsibility to. I sat back too long.''
The statement by Robert Key, the executive director of the foundation, comes after Nepal's Blue Diamond Society (BDS), the country's only gay advocacy group, was told on July 18 to stop its 'Care Support' sexual health outreach programme in Dhangadi and "to look for something better to do."

Saying that it is "extremely proud" to support BDS and the HIV/AIDS work that they are undertaking in Nepal, the EJAF is "appalled to hear about the bigoted and factually incorrect attitudes shown at the meeting organised by the District Public Health Office in Dhangadi this month."

Sunil Pant, president of BDS, said he was astounded at what was said at a regular monthly meeting organised by the District Public Health Office and was attended by a BDS representative.

Pant said: "The public health officer Krishna Bhatta claimed that there are no 'sex tissues' in the anus and so there's no chance of HIV/AIDS transmission through anal sex" and that "there [are] no MSM/MSW/TG in Dhangadi, so I believe this Care and Support program in Dhangadi for MSM/MSW/TG is absolutely unnecessary."

According to reports, Bhatta's statements were supported by at least two NGOs present at the meeting who said a support programme for gays would "promote homosexuality, which will pollute the entire society."

In related news, Sir Elton John expressed his guilt at not speaking up for gay rights earlier in his career.

"I have to speak my mind because as a gay man now I have a responsibility to. I sat back too long," the British superstar said.

"When Act Up were going in and trying to change the face of AIDS awareness in America because nobody else was doing it, I sat back and
did nothing."

Describing the charity as the most important part of his public life, it has raised more than US$125m since it was set up in 1992 to support HIV-related programmes in 55 countries, including Nepal.

Reader's Comments

1. 2007-07-26 02:54  
thumbs up for Sir Elton ! We love you Elton !
We live in a society where image is everything and most of the time, it's all for the worst... but in cases like this, obviously it can also work wonders so let's rejoice and thank our emblematic (and oh! so talented) star. We do understand your regrets but hey, Elton, better late than never, right ? ! Think of all the superstars who are still in the closet, terrified that coming out might cost them their fame and fortune...
2. 2007-07-26 08:55  
Finally a member of the british Royalty Queen Elton I speak up for Gay rights!

Hopefully this will also lead other celebs into doing more for Human Gay rights!

Long Live Queen Elton!
3. 2007-07-26 09:35  
I'd really like to see an American superstar of that stature coming out to support gay rights, set up foundations, blaze the trail, etc.

Can anyone think of any? I'm thinking Ellen, Rosie, Melissa. Where are the men?
4. 2007-07-26 09:41  
Why does the world spend so much on the so called Bird flu pandemic which does not exsist? spend the money on other problems including HIV/AIDS
This must be Passive discrimination?
5. 2007-07-26 19:28  
People are dying in Singapore because of either being in the closet, or because of the stigma attached to HIV and the fear of the consequences of getting tested because of your registration system.

Singapore could do with a great unstoppable public figure like Princess Diana embracing the issue, to help change attitudes and save lives.
6. 2007-07-26 23:37  
You did fine, Elton, and you did it in your own way -- not everyone can be full in your face activists like ACT UP. By being yourself, you encouraged the greater society to become more tolerant. And, that might have done more for opening the way to the freedoms gays are now experiencing in your own home country, Britain, than by being more militant. Don't feel guilty, feel proud.

Please log in to use this feature.


This article was recently read by

Select News Edition

Featured Profiles

Now ALL members can view unlimited profiles!


View this page in a different language:

Like Us on Facebook


 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia