(Video via Yahoo)
UPDATE: Elton John is "mistaken" about LGBT rights in Russia, claims Vladimir Putin.
The Russian President was responding to an Instagram post from John, who said that he was deeply upset by prior remarks from Putin that liberal values were "obsolete" and that Putin's claim of non-interference with LGBT rights seems false in light of the censorship of gay sex scenes in Rocketman in Russia.
"I have a lot of respect for him, he is a genius musician, we all enjoy his music, but I think he is mistaken," Putin said when asked about Elton John's comments. Putin was in Osaka attending a G-20 summit.
Putin claimed the Russian government had a "relaxed and unprejudiced" attitude towards LGBT people. But, he added, gender identity decisions can only be made by adults and therefore minors need to be "left alone," noting that Russian law bans "propaganda of homosexuality among minors."
He also repeated the need to respect traditional lifestyles and not upset the majority view.
EARLIER: In an Instagram post on Friday, Elton John took issue with some comments by Russian president Vladimir Putin regarding "this liberal idea," which included a remark that the push for greater LGBT rights can't supercede traditional views.
Putin made the remarks during an interview with the Financial Times. In that discussion, he said that liberal views were "obsolete," but that LGBTQ persons were fine with him.
However, Russia recently censored gay sex scenes in the Elton John biopic Rocketman, and Putin indicated that some LGBTQ actions "do appear excessive to us."
"We have no problem with LGBT persons," Putin insisted. "God forbid, let them live as they wish. But some things do appear excessive to us. They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles."
He added: "Let everyone be happy, we have no problem with that. But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population."
John responded on Instagram with a lengthy message and a photo of himself, his husband David Furnish and their two sons. The word "censored" was inserted across the photo's center.
"I was deeply upset when I read your recent interview in the Financial Times," John wrote. "I strongly disagree with your view that pursuing policies that embrace multicultural and sexual diversity are obsolete in our societies. I find duplicity in your comment that you want LGBT people to 'be happy' and that 'we have no problem in that'. Yet Russian distributors chose to heavily censor my film 'Rocketman' by removing all references to my finding true happiness through my 25 year relationship with David and the raising of my two beautiful sons. This feels like hypocrisy to me.
"I am proud to live in a part of the world where our governments have evolved to recognise the universal human right to love whoever we want," he continued. "And I'm truly grateful for the advancement in government policies that have allowed and legally supported my marriage to David. This has brought us both tremendous comfort and happiness." © Photo by Joe Papeo/WWD/REX/Shutterstock