Elton John and Russian president Vladimir Putin have gotten into a public discourse regarding LGBT issues. Following Putin's interview on the subject in the Financial Times, Elton took to social media, posting a photo of himself, husband David Furnish, and their sons Zachary and Elijah with the word “CENSORED” running across the photo. The post was in response to Russian censors cutting five minutes of footage from Elton's biopic Rocketman upon its releases in the country.

Elton's open letter to Putin reads in full:

Dear President Putin,

I was deeply upset when I read your recent interview in the Financial Times. I strongly disagree with your view that pursuing policies that embrace multicultural and sexual diversity are obsolete in our societies.

I find duplicity in your comment that you want LGBT people to “be happy” and that “we have no problem in that.” Yet Russian distributors chose to heavily censor my film Rocketman by removing all references to my finding true happiness through my 25 year relationship with David and the raising of my two beautiful sons. This feels like hypocrisy to me.

I am proud to live in a part of the world where our governments have evolved to recognise the universal human right to love whoever we want. And I’m truly grateful for the advancement in government policies that have allowed and legally supported my marriage to David. This has brought us both tremendous comfort and happiness.


Elton John

#LoveIsLove #WorldPride

Deadline.com reported that Putin responded to Elton's tweet while in Osaka attending a G-20 summit, saying, “I have a lot of respect for him, he is a genius musician, we all enjoy his music, but I think he is mistaken. . . I didn't overstate anything. We have a law that everybody is angry at us because of the law that doesn't allow propaganda of homosexuals among underage population. Let's let the kids grow and then let them decide what they want to do.”

Elton John admitted to us that the past 25 years, in which he married longtime partner David Furnish and had two children with him, have marked the happiest and most centered his life has ever been: “Life since 1990 has been all about trying to grow up, trying to see things from a different perspective — listening. And I was lucky to find my partner and that's been the saving grace of my life, as well.”