SIR Elton John has called for people to stand up against those who partake in homophobic abuse, as he seeks to end persecution affecting human rights throughout the world.

In an interview with the New Statesman magazine, Sir Elton said "whether the bigot is in our local pub or a thousand miles away" people should "shout back".

The singer, who entered into a civil partnership with film maker David Furnish in 2005, was writing for the magazine's It Could Have Been Me column.

"Men and women are persecuted and attacked every day all over the world, just because of who they love and who they make love to," he said.

Sir Elton made reference to William Hernandez, the gay rights activist from El Salvador who has recently been threatened at gunpoint and is currently the subject of an Amnesty International campaign.

The ROCKET MAN singer, who turns 60 on Sunday, said he wanted to "shine a spotlight on him".

22/03/2007 11:58:16