SIR Elton John has criticised the Mayor of Venice for banning books about homosexuality from primary schools.
The 68-year-old musician is dismayed by the policy of recently elected right-wing Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who in June announced all schools for young children and nurseries in the Italian city would no longer be able to distribute books about same-sex couples to pupils.
The major's decision has disgusted Elton as he is part of a same sex marriage with his husband David Furnish and they raise two sons, Zachary, four, and Elijah, two, together.
The 'Rocket Man' singer is so angry with Brugnaro he has taken to his Instagram account to attack his policy.
Accompanied by an image of the cover of 'The Family Book' by author Todd Parr, Elton's impassioned social media post reads: "Here is one of the Furnish-John family's favourite storybooks. It champions an all-inclusive world where families come in all shapes, sizes and colours. And most importantly, that families are about love. Our boys adore it. And in the opposing corner we have Luigi Brugnaro, the extremely silly looking mayor of Venice. He's stupidly chosen to politicise children's books by banning titles that touch on same sex families living happily ever after.
So instead of encouraging a world based on inclusiveness, tolerance and love, he's championing a future society that's divisive and fosters ignorance. Beautiful Venice is indeed sinking, but not as fast as the boorishly bigoted Brugnaro. #ShareTheLove (sic)"
'The Family Book' celebrates the love shared by families and all the variations they come in and author Parr's message is for everyone to celebrate the uniqueness of their family and to teach kids it's OK to be different.
In total 49 books have been banned from Venice's schools since Brugnaro's ban came into effect.
Other titles deemed inappropriate include 'And Tango Makes Three', which is about two male penguins bringing up a chick, and 'Jean Has Two Mums', a story about a wolf family where the cub has two mothers.
Despite criticism, Brugnaro refused to waver in his decision and insisted he would "not be intimidated" by pressure groups.
Speaking in July, he said: "Parents need to educate their children on these things, not schools."
In Italy same-sex marriage is not legal and couples of the same gender have no legal shared rights to property, social security or inheritance.