Elton John criticises Venice mayor’s ban on school books promoting same-sex families

Luigi Brugnaro recently removed 49 children's books from schools that made reference to gay marriage

Elton John has added his voice to criticism of a Venice mayor who has removed books from schools that feature same-sex families.

The city’s mayor Luigi Brugnaro was elected in June and recently made headlines by banning 49 children’s books that made reference to gay marriage from schools.

Explaining his actions, Brugnaro said he had to consider “which [books] are, and above all which are not, suitable for pre-school children” and had “to think about the majority of families where there is a mother and a father”.

In July, Brugnaro said that his predecessors had imposed their “personal view of society” onto school kids. He has since posted to Twitter: “In Venice, we definitely won’t risk creating sexual confusion for those under three. We respect children’s growth, adding, “absolute respect for the choices of homosexuals… the children have nothing to do with it.”

John responded to the news with an Instagram post criticising Brugnaro. He described Brugnaro as “the extremely silly looking mayor of Venice”.

He added: “Instead of encouraging a world based on inclusiveness, tolerance and love, [Brugnaro is] championing a future society that’s divisive and fosters ignorance.”

“Beautiful Venice is indeed sinking, but not as fast as the boorishly bigoted Brugnaro,” John continued.


Elton John was recently forced to apologise after comparing stewards to Hitler during a gig in Gloucester.

The singer stopped his concert at Kingsholm Stadium on June 7 to complain about the security stewards manning the crowd. The stewards were reportedly stopping the crowd from putting their arms in the air.

“Lighten up you lot, it’s not fucking China so piss off!” Elton said. “You get a fucking uniform on and you think you’re Hitler … we’re not having it, piss off!”

Following the outburst, the musician reconsidered his words and uttered a lengthy apology to the staff.

He said: “I do apologise, whoever told the stewards to be restricting that, that’s their fucking fault and not hers. So I apologise to her and I would be willing to apologise to her face. So if she comes up now I’ll give her a big hug, come on. You’re doing your job. But it’s so frustrating, if people want to wave their hands don’t tell them to stop. It’s a musical event.”