Sir Elton John speaking during the 12th Annual Meeting entitled At Risk: How New Ukraines Fate Affects Europe and the World organized by the Yalta European Strategy (YES) in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation at the Mystetsky Arsenal Art Center in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. Sir Elton John delivered a keynote speech about the role of business in promoting human rights. More than 200 leaders from politics, business and society representing more than 20 countries will discuss major global challenges and their impact on Europe, Ukraine and the world. Photo: AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Elton John has called on Ukraine’s business leaders to accept gays in the workplace, telling them that policies “designed to repress LGBT citizens … hinder economic development.”
John, who is gay and an outspoken activist, spoke to hundreds of business and political leaders at a high-profile forum in Kiev.
The singer pointed to studies showing that emerging economies which protect LGBT rights have a higher gross domestic product per capita. He says “so being tolerant and inclusive is not only the morally right thing to do, for the new Ukraine, it’s the smart thing to do.”
The British singer and composer played two outdoor concerts in Kiev in 2007 and 2012 to raise awareness for Ukraine’s AIDS epidemic, which is the worst in Europe.