Russian anti-gay lawmaker challenges Sir Elton John to verbal duel

Milonov told popular Russian daily Izvestia he was confident in his ability to prove that the activities of the LGBT community was both non-viable and extremely harmful for traditional society. He also added that he was ready to participate in the debate anywhere in the world.

In the same interview, Milonov accused gay activists of destroying Europe, saying a society without traditional moral standards soon loses the ability to protect itself, falling victim to various “external factors.”

The lawmaker, known for his pro-Christian views, added there was no sense in trying to convince Elton John by invoking the authority of the Church.

The clergy’s opinions would not be of any importance for this British singer,” Milonov said.

John’s PR manager Gary Farrow has said that at present moment the singer is not ready for debates.

READ MORE: Moscow lawmaker seeks rainbow flag ban after Facebook fanfare of US gay marriage verdict

Milonov’s invitation was prompted by John’s statement that he would like to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and discuss the situation with gay rights in Russia. The singer also noted that he didn’t expect much from such talks, but wanted to hold them anyway as he considered the problem very important.

However, on Monday evening John posted Vladimir Putin’s photo on his Instagram page, writing that the Russian president had personally reached him by phone.

Thank-you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today. I look to forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia. @president_vladimir_putin @ejaf #lgbt #lgbtrights #ShareTheLove

A photo posted by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on Sep 14, 2015 at 8:11am PDT

I look forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia,” the singer added, suggesting that the planned meeting had been arranged.

Putin has repeatedly dismissed claims that latest Russian legislative changes are discriminatory or oppressive, saying that the ban only concerns propaganda to minors.

There is no ban for homosexual relations in Russia, yet propaganda of homosexuality among minors – and pedophilia in particular – is prohibited,” Putin said in 2014 during a major press conference dedicated to Sochi Winter Olympics.

READ MORE: ‘Leave children alone’ – Putin on gay rights in Russia

We neither disallow anything [homosexual] nor bust anybody [who’s gay], we have no criminal liability for such relations – as opposed to many other countries of the world,” the president emphasized. “So you can feel calm and relaxed – but leave the children alone, please,” Putin demanded.

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