Sir Elton John has made it well known that he is in the fight against AIDS. He has hosted numerous benefits to raise awareness about the deadly virus, launched a foundation to support research for new treatments, and become one of the most outspoken celebrities on the topic of HIV/AIDS.
At the Sydney Opera House in Australia the knighted singer spoke with passion during a World AIDS Day event. He called those who stigmatize AIDS as a gay disease, “fascists and idiots.”
His exact words were, “If we can de-stigmatise this disease once and for all, we are really going to beat this disease. This is not a f**gots’ disease anymore. This is a worldwide disease that affects everybody. Let’s get rid of this disgusting stigma and get these people who are such fascists, such idiots, to understand that people have a right to live with dignity.”
John made it clear to government leaders that the time to get rid of this disease is now. He told the audience, “We can’t let go now. It’s imperative we seize this opportunity where the end is maybe in sight to keep going. We need the backing and confirmation of global governments to say once and for all let’s get rid of this disease when we have a chance to. And we do have the chance.”
Elton John’s dedication and devotion to fighting AIDS has been palpable since he began his quest in 1993 when he founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation. His foundation has raised more than $200 million since its inception.
“People have a right to live, a right to live with dignity. We’re all treated equal and it is about time Australians got the same sex-marriage together as well,” he told the audience.
His harsh words for those who stigmatize AIDS come at a time when the Australian government is under pressure to decide whether to overturn a national ban on same-sex marriage. Australia placed a ban on same-sex marriage in 2004 and does not recognize any foreign same-sex married couple as actually being married.
John has been with his husband David Furnish since 1993 and entered into a civil union with him in 2005. The couple has had a child through a surrogate mother and have attempted to adopt a young child from an AIDS orphanage in the UK. Sadly, the John was denied adoption of the little boy because of his age and because of his sexuality.