Yesterday Rush Limbaugh married his now-fourth wife, Kathryn Rogers, in Palm Beach. Among the paid entertainment wowing guests? Elton John, who earned a reported $1 million to fete the homophobe’s repeat nuptials. Should Elton be shamed for accepting the cash?
There are reasonable things the LGBT community can do to disavow support for people who make a career out of gay baiting, and there are unreasonable things. The latter category could includes boycotting an entire mega-conglomerate corporation for an offensive television ad. The former category could include refusing to go to an Buju Banton concert, no matter how much you like his beats, because he calls for the murder of our people.
And that’s where Elton’s flaw is. He is directly supporting Mr. Limbaugh and his endeavors — his future happiness! — by agreeing to perform at the man’s wedding. It will be Rush who writes out the check to Elton for the seven-figure sum; money that, let’s all face, Elton doesn’t really need. And even if his intention was to donate the cash to a LGBT youth group, it’s already bloody money, and tainted.
We don’t need to revisit Rush’s entire history to remind you how he’s used his radio show to taunt queer public officials, public citizens, and even families. For the same reason black NFL players weren’t on board with Rush possibly purchasing; Rush is a race baiter.
Elton John doesn’t have make it his day job avoiding second-handedly contributing to the lifestyles of bigots. If he accidentally tunes in to Rush’s radio show, he needn’t be burned at the stake. But Elton would be better respected if he didn’t go out of his way to directly play a role in bettering the life of a man who’s working vigorously to deny equality to queer Americans. Just like you can avoid ExxonMobil or BP gas stations because they’re anti-gay or anti-environment, while still not bankrupting your soul by buying petrol.