British singer-songwriter Elton John has waded into the heated debate over US state laws that ban child sex changes saying, “It’s all going pear-shaped in America.”
The 76-year-old musician, who closed the stage at Glastonbury Festival on Sunday, took aim at Republican legislators who have enacted bans on gender transitions for teens across 20 states in 2023, including Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.
John, who founded the Elton John Aids Foundation in 1993, took aim at the US criticizing what he called “a growing swell of anger and homophobia that’s around America.” In an interview with the UK’s Radio Times magazine, the "Rocket Man" singer specifically called out the “laws enacted in Florida,” branding them “disgraceful” and comparing them to an act of “violence.”
Florida has passed a number of laws this year, as part of Governor DeSantis’ push to safeguard children and prevent them from getting access to irreversible medical procedures. In May, DeSantis signed SB 254 banning hormones, puberty blockers, and sex-change procedures for those under 18 - a move that was dubbed “backwards” by John. The Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate also signed HB 1069 into law, prohibiting the instruction of gender identity and sexual orientation being taught in schools through 8th grade.
The Florida law, which John took aim at, SB 254, has been temporarily blocked by US District Judge Robert Hinke, who issued a preliminary injunction against the law to allow children to continue to get access to hormones, puberty blockers, and sex-change surgeries while the legal challenges between parents, healthcare providers, and the state continue.
John, who has been a vocal LGBT+ activist for decades, compared the laws to “a virus that the LGBTQ+ movement is suffering.”
Just days before the British singer made his comments, his husband, American filmmaker David Furnish, appeared on Sky News UK to criticize those critical of gender ideology by specifically referencing Harry Potter author JK Rowling saying, “I don’t agree or approve'' her views on transgender issues.
In a Variety interview earlier this year, Furnish echoed his husband's recent criticism of laws being passed: “It’s just disappointing, after all the progress that's been made, we still have these dissenting voices in parts of our country” while blaming lawmakers for “trying to score points” with their voting base.
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