Home  |  News  |  Tour  |  Charts  |  Board  |  Archive  |  Shop  |  Links  |  FAQ  |  Contact  

 Search Hercules News

Elton on AIDS funding, marriage equality, pending wedding
Sunday, March 16 2014

The U.S. and U.K. arms of the Elton John AIDS Foundation have raised more than $300 million in the past two decades, and a good chunk of that comes from the singer's annual Oscar bash, a glitzy, celebrity-studded affair that ends up assisting some of the neediest among those afflicted with the disease, reports USA Today.

In 2014, Elton's party raised $5.1 million. In March 2014, Funders for LGBTQ Issues identified EJAF as the largest funder of programs for black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals.

"In America, we're now the biggest funder of African-Americans, other minority groups, IV drug users, people in prison," Elton said in a recent interview. "I want to concentrate on the people who could get left behind because the funding's being cut. We stand for those people. We're not going to let them be forgotten."

Blacks make up 13% of the U.S. population but account for 46% of people living with HIV. A sample of young black gay men in Atlanta was found to have an annual HIV infection rate of 12%, indicating that a young gay man who becomes sexually active at 18 has a 60% chance of being HIV positive by age 30, according to a new Emory University study. The study also showed that a lack of health care and high rates of incarceration and unemployment contribute to those high numbers. Annual LGBT grant dollars pegged per black LGBT adult in America is $2.90, less than half the national average spent for LGBT adults in general.

EJAF Foundation Chairman David Furnish, a film director/producer and Elton's civil partner, said in a statement, "We are committed to reversing the tide of HIV infection in the black LGBTQ community. That is why we awarded more than $1.3 million for programs focused on this disproportionately affected community during 2011-2012 and will continue our work until everyone has access to the prevention methods, care, and treatment they need."

Elton and foundation organizers continue to decry the slow pace of progress against the AIDS epidemic. The singer is more encouraged by gains on the marriage equality front. Same-sex couples can marry in 16 states, and polling shows a majority support the cause. "It's a gradual process," Elton says. "I'm a great believer in the public being good at heart. (Republicans) ran on anti-gay marriage and stuff like that, but more people are in favor of equality than the people who are against it. People may rail against it and raise their ugly heads, but the reality in America is that the dominos are falling. I'm not so sure about the rest of the world, in places like Uganda, Russia and India."

Elton and David, partners since 1993, formed a civil partnership in England in 2005 and have two sons born to a surrogate mother. They plan to marry in England, where same-sex marriage legislation was passed last year and takes effect March 29, 2014. "When we get back to England in the springtime, we'll get married," Elton says. "It won't be a big occasion. It will be private. In my lifetime, I never thought I'd be able to have a civil partnership and also be able to marry my partner. You bet I'm going to take advantage of the laws that so many people have fought to change over the years. I'm thrilled."

Back to Headlines

© 1997-2017 by HERCULES International. Hercules is not affiliated with Elton John`s management or the Elton John Aids Foundation.  
Please note that this site has been discontinued on March 31, 2017 and will not be updated anymore.