Sir Elton John's husband David Furnish was "disgusted and deeply saddened" after learning homosexuals in his native Canada have been targeted by religious extremist groups. The "Rocket Man" served as guest editor of Wednesday, December 10's edition of Britain's The Independent newspaper to mark World AIDS Day, while his partner has written an article about the stigma associated with the disease.
In the piece, Furnish also 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. And the filmmaker was shocked to discover some of the organizations are based in his native Canada.
In the article, he writes, "Such attitudes are encouraged by conservative religious leaders (backed by funding from right-wing evangelical organizations 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."
In the meantime, his spouse Elton John feels inspired by so many people seeking treatment for AIDS - because it proves his charity's ongoing awareness drive is working. He established the Elton John AIDS Foundation in the early 1990s to offer support to sufferers of the disease and help promote prevention of the health issue.
Recent figures show a 25 per cent drop in new infections being reported around the world, and Sir Elton is overjoyed with the compelling statistic. As guest editor of The Independent newspaper to mark World AIDS Day, he writes, "In fact, I am compelled not by despair but by hope. I'm heartened by the recent statistics from UNAIDS that tell a promising story - five million people on treatment and a 25 per cent drop in new infections across the worst-affected countries since 2001.
"I'm motivated by the progress that AIDS has quite unintentionally moved forward, rather than the destruction it has left in its wake... despite the chaos AIDS has wrought, it has also resulted in remarkable human compassion and ingenuity.
I am proud that the Elton John AIDS Foundation has contributed to this progress for nearly 20 years. Through the Foundation I have witnessed the ingenuity, the compassion, and the human love that has made a difference, not just in the fight against AIDS, but in all aspects of the complex, globalixed world in which we live."
All revenue from the newspaper's sales will go towards the singer's charity.