While Elton served as guest editor of Wednesday’s edition of Britain’s The Independent newspaper to mark World AIDS Day, David Furnish also contributed by penning an article about the stigma associated with the disease.
In the piece, he claims several right-wing religious groups around the world have been brutally targeting homosexuals, with a few extremists allegedly exposing their identities in smear campaigns.
”Last week at the Elton John AIDS Foundation office in London, I met a man named Alan who runs a support group for HIV positive men in Mombasa. I was floored when he showed me a flyer posted in major Kenyan towns by a Christian evangelical group called Project See. This flyer featured a photograph of David Kuria, the director of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya. It shockingly encourages people to hunt him down and kill him. To aid in this goal, they printed Mr Kuria’s phone number and email in bold type.
”How this barbarism can exist is beyond my comprehension, but when it is encouraged in the name of Christianity it is truly repulsive. It directly flies in the face of the Christian values of love and forgiveness on which I was raised.
”Adding fuel to this witch hunt is Raila Odinga, the Prime Minister of Kenya. On Sunday at a rally in his constituency, he said: ‘Homosexuals should be arrested and taken to the relevant authorities.’ ”
The filmmaker was shocked to discover religious extremist groups have been targeting gay people in his native Canada as well.
He writes, “Such attitudes are encouraged by conservative religious leaders (backed by funding from right-wing evangelical organisations in the United States and Canada) waging a righteous ‘Christian war’ against homosexuality to preserve what they see as traditional values and morality.
“I am proud to be a Canadian, but was disgusted and deeply saddened to discover that Canadian right-wing extremist religious groups would stoop to such sickening levels. According to human rights advocate Dr. Robert Carr, these people feel the Western world has fallen prey to these satanic influences (gay marriage is rightfully legal in Canada) and that they must turn their energies and their pocketbooks towards preserving the sanctity of the developing world. They are solely taking advantage of a part of our world where people are less educated to promote their own evil agenda.
“How this barbarism can exist is beyond my comprehension, but when it is encouraged in the name of Christianity it is truly repulsive. It directly flies in the face of the Christian values of love and forgiveness on which I was raised.”
David is encouraged, though, by statistics releated by Unaids. They say new HIV infections worldwide have decreased by 19% since 1999.