Elton John Boycotts US Over Gay Rights?!

Did Elton John just boycott the US over gay rights, while forgetting about his own past?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : Elton John Boycotts US Over Gay Rights!

People are sharing an OutKick article, claiming that Elton John has just boycotted the US over gay rights, while forgetting about his past! Here is an excerpt from that OutKick article:

Elton John Boycotts U.S. Over Gay Rights, Forgets Own Past

John’s road retirement may not last, but he’s certain he won’t play as much as a residency in the States moving forward. Why? He cites the new, “disgraceful” hate aimed at the LGBTQ+ community coursing through America’s veins.

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Truth : Elton John Did Not Boycott US Over Gay Rights!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created about the LGBTQIA community, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Elton John Does Not Want Another US Residency

Let me just start by pointing out that Elton John never said that he will no longer perform in the United States, after his farewell tour ends.

In his interview with Radio Times, what Elton John said was that he still plans to continue performing after his three-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour ends. He was interested in a residency – playing at a single venue, but not in the United States of America.

I said when I announced the farewell tour that maybe I would do a residency like Kate Bush did at Hammersmith [in 2014]. But not in America. I will not do it in America.

But that’s in the long term. I don’t want to think about the stage – I’ve been on it since I was 17.

In other words, Elton John does not intend to go back for a third Las Vegas residency. As his husband and manager, David Furnish explained:

Will Elton return as a live performer? I hope so! It’s in his blood…

I know for a fact he will not be touring in any capacity. What you’re going to see is the possibility of a special one-off or a small residency in one venue for a limited period of time.

I don’t think it will be Las Vegas. Elton feels he’s done the best he can in Las Vegas. He mounted two hugely successful residencies there.

When you’re an artist and something’s in your blood, you don’t want to shut the door completely.

Fact #2 : Elton John Dislikes Violence + Discrimination In America

Elton John has been outspoken about what he dislikes about America – violence and discriminatory laws. However, he did not say he was boycotting the US.

It is peculiar that the OutKick article should suggest that Elton John was “clearly conflating laws meant to protect children from life-altering surgery“, when Elton himself was explicit about what he disliked about that particular discriminatory Florida law.

It’s all going pear-shaped in America. There’s violence, [discriminatory] laws enacted in Florida, which are disgraceful. There’s a law now that, if you visit a doctor in Florida, they can refuse to treat you if you’re gay, which I find just unbelievable.

We seem to be going backwards. And that spreads. It’s like a virus that the LGBTQ+ movement is suffering.

It seems clear to me that Elton was very clear about what he disliked about that particular Florida law!

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Fact #3 : HB 1557 Is Don’t Say Gay Bill

The OutKick article then refers to House Bill 1557 (HB 1557 : Parental Rights in Education), which regulates public schools in Florida.

This is the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prohibits public schools from discussing or teaching students about sexual orientation or gender identity, from kindergarten up to grade three.

Presumably, Florida lawmakers believe that teaching children about gender identity and sexual orientation is how children are groomed into accepting sexual abuse. As Christina Pushaw – the press secretary of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, explained:

The bill that liberals inaccurately call “Don’t Say Gay” would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill.

If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children.

Fact #4 : Elton John Referred To SB 1580, Not HB 1557

Elton John never mentioned any Florida law concerning children, education, or public schools in his interview with Radio Times.

He only referred to a completely different Florida law – SB 1580 : Protections of Medical Conscience Bill, which allows healthcare providers and insurers to deny patient care based on religious, moral or ethical beliefs.

This SB 1580 law has absolutely nothing to do with children or their education, which is covered by the completely different HB 1557 law (see above).

So why did OutKick bring up HB 1557 (the so-called Don’t Say Gay Bill), which Elton John never mentioned in his interview? Misunderstanding? Misdirection? Misinterpretation? Misinformation?

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Fact #5 : Elton John Rarely Performs In Anti-LGBT Countries

While Elton John has been outspoken about gay rights, he has not stopped performing in countries with laws that can be used to harass or persecute gay people. But they have been extremely rare in number – United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Russia.

What OutKick may not realise is that those countries do not matter financially to Elton John, who performs in many more concerts in LGBT-friendly countries, and can easily forego those countries. It seems more likely that Elton John only performed in those countries because he was allowed to.

Think on that – those anti-LGBT countries allowed Elton John – an openly gay performer – to sing and perform for his fans. That is not evidence of his hypocrisy. That shows the power of his music.

Fact #6 : Concerts Are Different From Residencies

Finally, I should point out that performing at one-off concerts in countries with restrictive, anti-LGBT laws is quite different from actually staying in those countries.

It’s one thing to try and change minds by performing in those countries for a show or two, it’s quite another thing to live in such countries.

So it isn’t hypocrisy if Elton John has no qualms performing in countries with restrictive, anti-LGBT laws, but chooses not to live for months or years in the US because he dislikes its violence and laws.

It’s no different from how staunchly conservative anti-LGBT activists have no problem holidaying in countries with progressive pro-LGBT laws.


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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