American singer Rufus Wainwright condemned a Russian law forbidding the promotion of homosexual relations to minors during a concert in Moscow on Thursday, saying it was "disgusting," to a storm of applause.
The law was especially offensive, the openly gay singer said, because "it's really young gay people who are under 18 who need our help, and need to learn and feel loved and accepted. To cut them out is a terrible crime."
Wainwright then dedicated his next song "The Gay Messiah" to his "favorite gay Russian," composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
Tickets to Wainwright's concert at Dom Muzyki were marked "18 plus" because of the law, he said.
Wainwright's homosexuality was addressed early on in the show when he said "I'm gay," again to much applause from the audience.
Despite his comments, it seems likely that this will not be Wainwright's last visit to Moscow. He enthused about the Tretyakov Gallery and said that his husband, German arts administrator Jörn Weisbrodt, had been to Moscow many times and even wanted the couple to move there.