March 22, 2007 / 12:13 AM / 12 years ago

Elton John urges fight against homophobia

LONDON (Reuters) - Elton John has paid tribute to gay rights campaigners and urged others around the world to “stand up and speak out” against homophobia.

Elton John is interviewed at the 2007 Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood February 25, 2007. John has paid tribute to gay rights campaigners and urged others around the world to "stand up and speak out" against homophobia. REUTERS/Gene Blevins

The singer, who tied the knot with long-term partner David Furnish in a civil ceremony, said people must stand up for the human rights of homosexuals.

“In December 2005, I was legally bound to the man I love,” he wrote in the New Statesman magazine. “It’s my legal right and my human right. And I wanted everyone to know, I wanted to shout about it.

“In some countries, my voice would have been drowned out. Maybe even stamped out.

“Men and women are persecuted and attacked every day all over the world, just because of who they love and who they make love to.”

The singer, who celebrates his 60th birthday on Sunday, paid tribute to William Hernandez, a gay rights campaigner in El Salvador.

Amnesty International says Hernandez and others in his organisation Entre Amigos (Between Friends) have received death threats for their work.

“People like William are a lot braver than me. When the bigots shout abuse, they shout back,” the singer wrote.

“My voice has served me pretty well over the years. I hope maybe it can do him some good too. But we need more voices.

“Whether the bigot is in our local pub or a thousand miles away, we should all stand up and speak out for these basic human rights.”

The article was for a column in the magazine in which well-known public figures highlight Amnesty cases.

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