Photo Credit: Youssef Boudlal/Redferns
Music fans around the world love Elton John -- even in Morocco, an Islamic nation where being gay has been punishable with jail time. But when John, 63, headlined at Morocco's largest music festival on Wednesday night, he created some serious tensions in the North African nation.
Morocco has the same sort of anti-homosexuality laws as most Islamic countries -- "homosexual acts" can be sentenced with up to 3 years in prison -- although authorities are reportedly not strict about enforcing them. Still, the country's largest Islamic political group wasn't shy about voicing their disapproval of the "Rocket Man" singer. "We're a rather open party, but promoting homosexuality is completely unacceptable," a spokesman told the Associated Press. He added that an Elton John performance could be a bad influence on Moroccan youth, by encouraging homosexual behavior. (Like playing the piano and singing? Seriously, it's not like he's making out with his boyfriend onstage. But we digress.)
While conservative officials pushed for a ban against Elton John, the show's organizers refused to change their line-up.