Saturday 21 January 2017

Elton John: 'It's no surprise that a politician didn't know that heterosexuals could get aids'

Belfast Telegraph

Published 02/12/2016 | 11:46

Sir Elton John
Sir Elton John
Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish arrive at the Victoria Palace Theatre in central London for a special celebration as the musical Billy Elliot closes

Sir Elton John has said it was "no surprise" that a Northern Ireland Member of the Legislative Assembly did not know heterosexuals could contract the HIV infection.

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South Antrim MLA Trevor Clarke made the admission during an Assembly debate this week calling for a new campaign to promote awareness and prevention of HIV.

Mr Clarke was one of three Democratic Unionist Party MLAs proposing the motion, saying he was not aware until a charity had outlined the facts to him.

He said the meeting with Positive Life was a turning point for him after "having been ignorant of the fact that the disease also affects heterosexual people".

Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish arrive at the Victoria Palace Theatre in central London for a special celebration as the musical Billy Elliot closes
Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish arrive at the Victoria Palace Theatre in central London for a special celebration as the musical Billy Elliot closes

On Friday and ahead of his appearance in Belfast, Sir Elton John said the comments were "no surprise".

The singer was asked about a survey his charity foundation carried out about the "many myths that endure about Aids and HIV in the UK".

"A Northern Ireland politician said the other day he didn't know that heterosexual people could get Aids, or HIV," Sir Elton told the BBC.

"So, it's like: 'What planet are you living on?'"

In November 2015, Sir Elton urged Northern Ireland politicians to "enter the 21st Century" over same-sex marriage and that if there was a public vote it would "sail in".

Northern Ireland remains the only part of the British Isles not to have legislated for same-sex marriage.

Elton John was asked about the matter on the BBC's Today programme on Radio 4.

He said: "God, if it can be voted for in southern Ireland by two to one.

"[In Northern Ireland] it's not a public vote, it's by the politicians and the politicians need to get their act together and enter the 21st Century.

"And I'm sure if there was a vote in Northern Ireland it would sail in."

Elton John is due to perform at the SSE Arena in Belfast tonight, Friday December 2.

Belfast Telegraph

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