Elton John has spoken out against Suella Braverman’s calls to ban LGBTQ+ asylum seekers from coming to the UK.
The home secretary faced backlash this week after she said that “simply being gay, or a woman” is not enough of a reason to gain refugee status in the UK.
Addressing a US think tank on Tuesday (September 26), she said (via Sky News): “There are vast swathes of the world where it is extremely difficult to be gay, or to be a woman. Where individuals are being persecuted, it is right that we offer sanctuary.
“But we will not be able to sustain an asylum system if in effect simply being gay, or a woman, and fearful of discrimination in your country of origin is sufficient to qualify for protection.”
Music icon John has now responded to the home secretary and accused her of “legitimising hate and violence”.
In a statement released alongside husband David Furnish through their AIDS Foundation, they said: “We are very concerned about the UK Home Secretary’s comments stating how discrimination for being gay or a woman should not be reason enough to qualify for protection under international refugee laws.
“Nearly a third of all nations class LGBTQ+ people as criminals and homosexuality is still punishable by death in 11 countries.”
It went on: “Dismissing the very real danger LGBTQ+ communities face risks further legitimising hate and violence against them.”
The statement concluded that leaders “need to provide more compassion, support and acceptance for those seeking a safer future”.
John has shared statements via his foundation in the past to call out homophobia. In 2021, he condemned DaBaby for fuelling the “stigma” around HIV.
In more recent news, in August John was admitted to hospital after suffering a fall at his villa in France.
The 76-year-old singer, who recently retired from touring, spent the night at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco, where he was treated for minor injuries.
Earlier in the summer, John and partner Furnish gave evidence as defence witnesses at the sexual assault trial of Kevin Spacey. John was later seen at a dinner party with Spacey, one month after giving testimony at the trial.