Nota Stampa 18 Febbraio 2014
Official statement for Rufus Wainwright from Jorn Weisbrodt (Rufus Wainwright management)
The reactions to Rufus Wainwright's appearance at the Sanremo Festival by some conservative catholic groups have come as a huge surprise. He feels that some of the things that have been said about him in various media need to be rectified.
Rufus loves and admires Italy, its people and Italian culture. He has always been an artist who was outspoken about his sexuality from the very beginning of his career and explores in his songs the realms of the edges and the fragility of the human condition. His song Gay Messiah which is the object of discontent by these groups is not meant to be "blasphemous" as it is not a portrayal of Jesus or any religious figure in the canon of the catholic church but a metaphor for a world where gay people enjoy the same rights as heterosexual people which judging by the reactions in Italy is still very far away. Crucifixion was unfortunately a very common method to kill people 2000 years ago.
It is sad that a lot of the members of the Catholic Church seem to trail far behind their leader Pope Francis in his respect and acceptance for women, gay people and other minorities. He certainly did not intend to hurt any religious feelings with a song. His song Gay Messiah is an anthem within the gay community and he was invited to sing it among other songs at the Human Rights Campaign Ball in Washington after the first inauguration of President Obama.
Rufus leads a very happy and steady family life being married to his partner of 9 years since the state of New York introduced Marriage Equality about 2 years ago, a battle that he vocally supported and will continue to support.
Under President Obama's leadership the Defense of Marriage Act in the United States has been abolished which represents another step towards equal rights for all people living in a democratic system. It was less than 50 years ago that interracial marriage became legal in the United States, women did not enjoy voting rights in Switzerland on a federal level until even later. In 50 years we hopefully look back at Marriage Equality with equal disbelief that it took us over 400 years since the Age of Enlightenment that these steps of equality were achieved.
Rufus shares a daughter with long time friend Lorca Cohen. Lorca was not the surrogate mother but they decided to have a child together. Viva Catherine Wainwright Cohen grows up mainly with her mother and Rufus spends as much time with her to fulfill his role as her father. Any other version of this story that is portrayed publicly is deeply disturbing and not true.
He is proud and grateful to have been invited by the Sanremo Festival to perform two songs and looks forward to doing so. Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk is hailed by the press as one of his best songs and appeared among others on the soundtrack of Italian film maker Antonello Grimaldi's "Caos Calmo". John Lennon's "Across the Universe" is a song very dear to Rufus' heart as he was invited to first perform it by John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono in a concert titled "Come Together: A Night for John Lennon's Words and Music" on October 2nd 2001 shortly after 9/11. Rufus' standing as an artist of highest quality and integrity is unquestioned and the great Elton John has called Rufus the greatest singer-songwriter on the planet.
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